How our whistleblowing specialists can help

whistleblowing frequently asked questions

Employees have a duty to report misconduct or malpractice at work. If the misconduct poses a risk to colleagues or customers, it may be in the public interest to “blow the whistle” and report the harm. Often, this could involve a fraudulent activity, a health and safety breach or criminal behaviour. For employees to be safeguarded by the law, the disclosure made will have to meet certain conditions, such as being in the public interest. Whistleblowing in the workplace can be vital in preventing further damage, improving procedures and helping both public and private organisations learn from mistakes.
Our employment law experts deal with varying types of whistleblowing cases. Here are two examples of whistleblowing in the workplace:
  • A hospital worker who reports a health and safety breach which is harmful to its staff or patients
  • An accountant or financial officer reporting financial wrongdoing or malpractice, such as money missing from the accounts
It’s important to note your time limitations with bringing employment claims. You have three months less one day to bring a whistleblowing claim to tribunal, and this will involve contact with ACAS to begin the process with attempts for early conciliation with your employer. This could take up to 6 weeks. It’s important that you act fast, as soon as possible after your first negative treatment.
Typical consequences that may arise from you blowing the whistle could include: Your manager making unwanted changes to your role; Your work duties being restricted or reduced;
  • Demotion;
  • Dismissal;
  • Bullying and harassment;
  • Benefits and bonuses being withheld;
  • Hostile treatment;
  • Unfair accusations of poor performance;
  • Pressure to resign.
If you suffer disadvantages as a result of whistleblowing at work, youcan claim compensation for any detriment up to the point of dismissal. If you are dismissed from your employment as a direct result of the whistleblowing, you will be entitled to claim uncapped compensation for loss of earnings. We can help with constructive, unfair and wrongful dismissals.
Before making a whistleblowing claim, if you believe you have witnessed, or become aware of serious wrongdoing in your workplace, it is natural to assess your options before telling anyone about it. You may be concerned about the following things:
  • Have I fully understood the situation?
  • Is the wrongdoing illegal or in breach of my employer’s legal duties?
  • Will I be sacked if I reveal what I have seen or become aware of?
  • Will it alter my position in the company?
  • Will I be treated differently as a result of whistleblowing?
All of the above thoughts and feelings are completely normal. We would recommend you raise the issue early on, so that you don’t run out of time. Every employee is different, and while some may want tough action, others might prefer to adopt a peace-making approach. It is also worth noting that depending on the industry you work in, the route you should take to blow the whistle may be different. It’s crucial that you get this right.
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