Whistleblowing is where a worker discloses an employers, or another third party’s, wrongdoing. The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (“PIDA”) provides protection for whistleblowers against victimisation or dismissal. A qualifying disclosure under PIDA means any disclosure of information which, in the reasonable belief of the worker making the disclosure, is made in the public interest and tends to show one or more of the types of wrongdoing or failure:

  • that a criminal offence has been committed, is being committed or is likely to be committed
  • that a person has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with any legal obligation to which he is subject
  • that a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur
  • that the health or safety of any individual has been, is being or is likely to be endangered
  • that the environment has been, is being or is likely to be damaged
  • that information tending to show any matter falling within any one of the preceding paragraphs has been, is being or is likely to be deliberately concealed
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In addition to being a qualifying disclosure, the disclosure must also be a protected disclosure. To satisfy this element it will depend on to whom the disclosure was made. PIDA encourages the primary method of disclosure to be to the whistleblower’s employer. If the disclosure is made to a third party, whether or not it is protected will depend on who that third party is.

PIDA creates two levels of protection for whistleblowers, which are:

  • That the dismissal of an employee, or employee shareholder, will automatically be unfair if the principal reason for their dismissal is that they have made a “protected disclosure”
  • Protection for a worker being subjected to any detriment on the grounds that they have made a protected disclosure

There is no financial cap on compensation in whistleblowing claims and no requirement for a minimum period of service.

If you have an employee that has made a claim against your business in relation to whistleblowing our solicitors can help. The employment team at MS Rubric have a great deal of experience handling whistleblowing claims. Contact us today for support.

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