Whistle blowing claims have increased in importance over the past few years, now accounting for 1 in every 10 Tribunal claims.
All employers should have a whistle blowing / protected disclosures policy for workers and employees to raise genuine concerns about a colleague or manager’s conduct or the employer’s practices. That procedure should allow for the worker to raise these concerns with a nominated person and set out the steps that the employer will take in response. A worker or employees will have a claim in the Employment Tribunal if the Employer fails to protect them from reprisals (including detriments and dismissals) from the employer itself, managers, colleagues and/or other third parties as a result of making the disclosure.
Public Concern At Work has published a report finding that:-
- The majority of whistle blowing complaints are made by the Health and Care sector followed by the Education section.
- Discrimination and harassment was the most common concern in whistle blowing claims followed by concerns about work safety and financial malpractice.
- Fifty-six percent (56%) of Claimants do not have legal representation and this group has much poorer success rates compared to those with legal representation before the Employment Tribunal.
We know however that whilst paid up members should be entitled to help and representation from unions and other professional bodies, this isn’t always forthcoming in your hour of need.
We are here for you.
Our solicitors have considerable experience and expertise in representing individuals who have been treated wrongly after blowing the whistle. Our solicitors have a significant wealth of experience in advising workers and employees on whistle blowing claims and have successfully pursued these claims in the Employment Tribunal. We are focused on getting the right result for you in a commercially realistic way.
What exactly is whistle blowing?
The law protects whistle blowers whose employer dismisses them (including selection for redundancy or constructive dismissal) or subjects them to detriment because they have made a protected disclosure. There is no qualifying minimum period of service and Tribunals are not restricted by the usual upper limit on compensation.
Someone makes a whistle blowing protected disclosure if they disclose information to a relevant person which they reasonably believe shows that the employer: –
- Has or is likely to commit a criminal offence;
- Is in breach of any legal obligation;
- Is endangering to the health and safety of any individual;
- Causing damage to the environment;
- Deliberately concealing information about such wrong doing.
Providing also that the worker reasonably believes the disclosure is made in the public interest.
An employer can be held liable for reprisals meted out to a whistle blower by the employer itself, managers, colleagues and also other third parties. . A failure to protect the worker from such reprisals may itself amount to a detriment by the employer.
There is no longer a specific requirement to make a whistle blowing complaint in good faith, save that it may be taken in to account when a Tribunal decides how much compensation to award.
Our Employment Advice Services
If you are about to make a disclosure, we recommend that you obtain legal advice before proceeding in order to protect your position as much as possible. Our experts will be happy to provide you with some free initial advice, so please call us on 0844 800 9860 or request a call back through our website.
If you have been dismissed or subjected to a detriment as a result of blowing the whistle our specialist employment solicitors can help by: –
- Advising you on whether you have made a disclosure that is likely to be protected by the law.
- Advising you on the possibility of trying to resolve any issues or disputes with your employer directly.
- Advising you on whether you have a strong claim for whistle blowing and what you are likely to achieve in making a claim.
- Negotiating with your employer directly, if appropriate, to achieve a favorable severance package or settlement out of Tribunal.
- Making a claim to the Employment Tribunal for compensation.
We are able to offer very competitive rates and fixed fee packages for our work. All our initial advice is provided by qualified solicitors and offered for free, so please call us on 0844 800 9860 or request a call back through our website.