Whistleblowing and detriment claims

In whistleblowing detriment claims, a tribunal should not look behind the motive of the decision maker to consider whether a third party was manipulating the situation.

Whistleblowing dismissal and detriment

A whistleblowing claim cannot succeed if the employer doesn’t know at least something about the substance of the protected disclosure that’s been made.

Whistleblowing: relevance of conduct when making protected disclosure

An employee was not automatically unfairly dismissed after making protected disclosures because her dismissal was for conduct reasons that were separable from the disclosures themselves.

COVID-19: whistleblowing

The dismissal of an employee was automatically unfair because she had made protected disclosures (whistleblowing) relating to her employer’s lax and inadequate implementation of their own COVID-19 protocols at her workplace during the early part of the pandemic.

Whistleblowing: material influence

Because a whistleblower’s behaviour after he’d blown the whistle was separate and distinct from his act of whistleblowing, his subsequent dismissal was not automatically unfair.

Specificity required to be a qualifying disclosure

Deciding whether a disclosure attracts protection under whistleblowing law involves looking at the context in which it was made, rather than simply the words used. And it is not necessary for such a disclosure expressly to identify the specific type of wrongdoing alleged on the part of the employer.

Whistleblowing: 'public interest' despite private purpose

Even though a whistleblower’s primary purpose in making a disclosure was private in nature, it could still pass the test of showing that it was ‘made in the public interest’ and thereby acquire legal protection.

Detriment and employer's rebuttal of employee's whistleblowing allegations

An employer, seeking to defend its reputation, subjected an employee to an unlawful detriment in the manner in which it publicly denied his whistleblowing allegations but he failed to show that the employer’s actions were on the grounds that he had made a protected disclosure.

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.