A ‘protected disclosure’ (the legal term for whistleblowing) can often seem very similar to a grievance, but it is important for employers to be able to distinguish between the two.
This is because an employee or worker is entitled to whistleblowing protection if they report certain types of wrongdoing within their workplace. The disclosure of the wrongdoing must be made in the public interest. As a whistleblower, the individual is protected from dismissal or detriment, and may claim unfair dismissal if they are dismissed because of whistleblowing.
Examples of qualifying disclosures include information relating to:
- A criminal offence,
- The breach of a legal obligation,
- A miscarriage of justice,
- A danger to the health and safety of any individual,
- Damage to the environment,
- Deliberate attempt to hide any of the above.
For the above to qualify as whistleblowing, the individual must reasonably believe that one or more of the above matters is either currently happening, has taken place, or is likely to take place in the future.
A disclosure of the wrongdoing should be made to the employer first. If this is not possible, then the employee should contact a prescribed person or body.
For a list of prescribed persons and bodies, please use the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/blowing-the-whistle-list-of-prescribed-people-and-bodies–2
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