Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing and knowledge of the decision maker

Where the real reason for dismissal of a worker is because they made a protected disclosure and that fact has been hidden from the decision-maker by a person in the ‘hierarchy of responsibility above the employee’, the dismissal is automatically unfair, even though the decision-maker has relied upon an invented reason for dismissal in good faith.

Worker's defamation complaint could be a protected disclosure

A worker’s complaint to HR that he was being defamed by rumours that he had breached confidentiality was capable of amounting to a protected disclosure under the whistleblowing provisions of the Employment Rights Act.

Whistleblowing protection extended to office holders

Excluding judges – and all office holders – from whistleblowing protection is a breach of their human rights.

Whistleblowing and anticipated disclosures

It is unlawful to subject an individual to a detriment or dismiss them on the grounds that the employer perceived them to be considering making a protected disclosure.

Directors personally liable for whistleblowing dismissal

Two company directors were personally liable for their part in dismissing an employee on whistleblowing grounds.

Allegations and whistleblowing protection

An employee did not make protected disclosures when she complained to her employer about bullying, harassment, inappropriate behaviour and lack of managerial support over a safeguarding issue.

Stigma claim for 'career-ending' termination following whistleblowing

Where an employee’s employment has been terminated due to a protected disclosure a tribunal can award compensation for long-term loss of earnings or ‘stigma damages’ even if the employee didn’t actually advance such a claim.

Whistleblowing 'in the public interest'

To base the test of whether a whistleblowing disclosure is ‘in the public interest’ purely on the numbers affected would be ‘too mechanistic’ says the Court of Appeal. The question of whether a disclosure is in the public interest depends on the character of the interest served by it, rather than simply on the numbers of people sharing that interest.

It's not up to the employer to decide if a whistleblowing disclosure is 'protected'

Beatt v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust

 

It is irrelevant that the employer genuinely believes an employee’s disclosure is not protected. A disclosure will be protected if it meets the statutory conditions in the Employment Rights Act 1996 - and this is an objective test. If the employer dismisses the employee for making a disclosure that a tribunal later finds was protected, the dismissal will be automatically unfair.