What Can Employers and Employee’s Do With Whistleblowing? Nobody wants to be put in an awkward situation. However, when reputation, money and the law is on the line, it’s sometimes a necessity for whistleblowing to occur for the greater good. But where does this leave you as the whistleblower, or how should you treat a whistleblower?
You’re a whistleblower if you’re a worker and you report certain types of wrongdoing. This will usually be something you’ve seen at work – though not always. The wrongdoing you disclose must be in the public interest. This means it must affect others, for example the general public.
As a whistleblower you’re protected by law – you should not be treated unfairly or lose your job because you ‘blow the whistle’. You can raise your concern at any time about an incident that happened in the past, is happening now, or you believe will happen in the near future.
Complaints that count as whistleblowing
You’re protected by law if you report any of the following:
a criminal offence, for example fraud someone’s health and safety is in danger risk or actual damage to the environment a miscarriage of justice the company is breaking the law, for example does not have the right insurance you believe someone is covering up wrongdoing The UK has become familiar with NDAs and similar terms (‘confidentiality agreements’, ‘gagging clauses’, ‘super gag’ etc) since the rise of the #MeToo movement. Evidence from a nationwide survey and research shows that organisations use NDAs to cover up the wrongdoing reported by whistleblowers. If you’re treated unfairly after whistleblowing
You can take a case to an employment tribunal if you’ve been treated unfairly because you’ve blown the whistle. MPs are calling for a “radical overhaul” of whistleblowing laws to protect people who uncover serious wrongdoing including child sex abuse, financial crime and unlawful discrimination.
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for whistleblowing is urging the government to ban the use of controversial non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in whistleblowing cases, after a series of instances in which they had been used to silence allegations against powerful individuals and companies.
If you reported your concern anonymously, you may find it harder to argue that your unfair treatment was as a result of your whistleblowing. You must raise any claim of unfair dismissal within 3 months of your employment ending.
You must notify
if you want to take your case to an employment tribunal. MPs heard evidence from more than 400 whistleblowers, finding that some had suffered mental trauma, damage to their careers and been landed with large legal bills after speaking out. Three-quarters of whistleblowers who gave evidence said they had faced bullying, demotions, pay reductions, suspensions or forced dismissals. ACAS
If you wish to discuss whistleblowing and how to treat employees legally and correctly who whistleblow,
contact a member of our team.