If you’ve been dismissed because of whistleblowing, your dismissal may have been unfair. The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 protects whistleblowers from retaliation by their employer. 

Am I a whistleblower? 

 
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 protects employees and workers, as well as some additional groups not usually included as ‘workers’. To be protected you will need to show that you made a protected disclosure, following the correct procedure, and were dismissed because of this. 
 
A disclosure will be protected if it is in the public interest and concerns: 
 
• 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 
• a deliberate attempt to cover up any of the above. 
 

What is in the public interest regarding whistleblowing? 

 
All cases vary, so it is difficult to apply hard and fast rules. If your case goes before a tribunal, the judge or panel will consider: 
 
• whether the concern affects other people, or just you 
• how serious and widespread the impact of the wrongdoing is 
• the seniority or influence of the person or organisation responsible 
 
Although you must have had a reasonable belief that the disclosure was in the public interest, this does not need to be the main or only reason for raising the concern. 
 

What is the correct whistleblowing procedure? 

 
If you adhered to your employer’s policy, it will be difficult for your organisation to argue that you did not follow the correct procedure. You are also likely be protected if you have reported the concern to a prescribed person or body (who this is will depend on what the disclosure concerns). 
 
If you reported the concern externally to somebody other than the proscribed person, you may find it more difficult to show that you are covered by the Public Interest Disclosures Act. It will help if you can show that you had a good reason to make the report externally, and that you were not making the disclosure for personal gain. 
 

Can I become a whistleblower if I have a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)? 

 
Your employer cannot legally enforce a confidentiality clause that attempts to overrule whistleblowing legislation, even if you signed the agreement. However, if your disclosure does not benefit from whistleblowing protection your employer will be able to enforce the agreement, and you may face consequences of breaking it. You should seek legal advice to be sure of your rights. Discussions with a solicitor are legally privileged, and so you will not face repercussions for sharing relevant information with a solicitor. 
 
What can I do? 
Download our guide to find out more about your rights if you have been dismissed for making a disclosure. Just enter your details in the form, and you will be directed to a link to download a PDF. 
 
Whistleblowing is a complex area of law, and the nature of your disclosure may make it more difficult. An experienced employment law solicitor can help you to understand how the law applies to your personal circumstances and what your rights are. 
 
Get in touch for advice. 

Not sure if you have a claim? Download our free guide 

We will never share your details without your permission 
Share this post:

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. 
Red phone icon
Phone: 0121 817 0520 
red pinpoint location icon
Address: Spencer Shaw Solicitors Limited 
St Mary's House, 68 Harborne Park Road,  
Harborne, Birmingham, B17 0DH 
red clock icon pointing to 9am
Opening hours: 
Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 5:00PM 
Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays - Closed 
red computer icon
Connect on social media 

Schedule an initial call 

We take your privacy seriously and will only use the information you provide on this contact form to deal with your enquiry. Please see our Client Privacy Policy for more detail. 
Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings