Whistleblowing is a term often used as shorthand to cover the legal protection offered to certain groups of people who make 'protected disclosures'.
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 introduced changes to whistleblowing law with effect from 25 June 2013.
Employees or workers in this position can complain to an employment tribunal and compensation is uncapped.
- employees are protected from dismissal if the reason, or principal reason, for their dismissal is that they have made a 'protected disclosure'
- workers are protected from being subjected to any detriment on the grounds that they have made a protected disclosure.
- The legislation applies when an employee or worker makes a qualifying disclosure (the information disclosed must fall under one or more of the six headings set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996)
- the disclosure is made to the right person
- the worker or employee is then subjected to a detriment, or dismissed.
- Organisations should have a whistleblowing policy to encourage openness in the workplace, encourage disclosures to be made in a reasonable way (for example, not to the press), provide guidance to managers on how to deal with whistleblowers and assist when defending claims where correct procedures have not been followed by employees.