Whistleblowing Protection 

If you're employer is doing something that you know is wrong, it can be a difficult decision whether to report it or not. If your employer is not responsive to your concerns, you may be worried about damaging your working relationship, or even being penalised at work for speaking up. 
Employees who become 'whistleblowers' are protected under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) from mistreatment by your employer. 
If you believe you have been unfairly dismissed or treated unfairly at work because of disclosing any wrongdoing, you could have an employment claim. 
A claim must be brought for unfair dismissal within three months of your employment ending. However, it's still sensible to seek legal advice even if this time has lapsed. 

What is Whistleblowing? 

The term ‘whistleblower’ refers to an employee who reports wrongdoing in their workplace which 
is listed in the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) 
is in the public interest to report 
You may report wrongdoing that has happened in the past, is currently happening, or that you believe will happen soon.  
You will have to show three things to claim unfair dismissal because of a protected disclosure (whistleblowing): 
that you made a disclosure 
that you followed the correct procedure 
that you were dismissed or suffered a detriment because of making the disclosure 

 What types of wrongdoing are relevant to whistleblowing protection? 

A criminal offence 
A breach of legal obligation 
A miscarriage of justice 
A danger to the health and safety of any individual 
Damage to the environment 
Deliberate attempt to cover up any of the above. 

Who should you inform? 

You can raise your concern with your employer (they may have a policy explaining the procedure you can take). However, you do have the right to report your concern to a lawyer or to a prescribed person or body. 
A prescribed person or body must be one that deals with the concerns you are raising. For example, reports of wrongdoing in a primary school can be made to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills. The information you give to your employer, prescribed person or body can be done anonymously. However, if you do give your name and ask for confidentiality, your employer/prescribed person or body should adhere to that. 
You should note, that if you do report your concerns to the media, in most cases you will lose your protected right. 

What if I have a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)? 

Non-disclosure agreements cannot overrule whistleblowing legislation, or the rights of staff to make protected disclosures. 
It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether your disclosure is in the public interest and therefore benefits from whistleblowing protection. If you have any doubts about whether your complaint is whistleblowing or not, you should get in touch for legal advice.  

What can you expect? 

You can expect that your employer or prescribed person/body will listen to your concern and decide if any action needs to be taken. You won’t have any say in how the matter is to be dealt with and at this stage. Your employer or prescribed person/body may not give you much detail as they should keep the confidentiality of the others involved. 
If the matter has not been dealt with to your satisfaction or is ongoing, tell someone else, such as a more senior member of staff or a prescribed person or body. You could also contact the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), the whistleblowing charity Protect or your trade union for more direction. 

Get in touch 

Do you have a legal matter you'd like to discuss with us? Get in touch using the details below or use the form here and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss your enquiry. 
Phone: 0121 452 5130 
Address: Spencer Shaw Solicitors Limited 
Vancouver House, 111 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 8LB 
Opening hours: 
Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 5:00PM 
Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays - Closed 
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