Employers should ensure that no one is subjected to a detriment or dismissed from their employment for reporting the malpractices (known as whistleblowing) of their employers or third parties as this may be a protected act if the information relates to:
- A criminal offence;
- Breach of any legal obligation;
- Miscarriage of justice;
- Danger to health and safety of any individual;
- Damage to the environment;
- The deliberate concealing of information about any of the above.
If a worker brings a successful whistleblowing claim against an employer, the compensation is not capped.
Is there a qualifying service requirement for a whistleblowing claim?
There is no qualifying service requirement for an employee or worker to bring a claim for suffering a detriment or dismissal as a result of whistleblowing.
Is there a defence for a whistleblowing claim?
Whistleblowing claims can be complex, and it is an area of law that can be misinterpreted. It is for the claimant to identify why the disclosure was protected. A business can defend a claim by establishing a positive case as to why the claimant was treated in a particular way (which they allege was a detriment) or why they were dismissed.
Having a clear whistleblowing policy on the reporting of qualifying disclosures will also assist a defence if you can show the claimant was aware of the policy but chose not to follow it.
What remedies are available?
If an employee or worker successfully brings a whistleblowing claim, the Employment Tribunal has the power to order the payment of compensation. The compensation differs depending on whether the claim is one of detriment or dismissal.
In detriment cases, an award similar to an injury to feelings award in discrimination can be awarded.
In dismissal cases, compensation for loss of earnings is awarded. There is no financial cap on the compensation that can be awarded in either type of claim.
How can we help?
We are employment experts so whether you are drafting or updating a whistleblowing policy or have been issued with an Employment Tribunal claim please contact a member of the team on 0113 350 4030 or complete our enquiry form for a 30 minute telephone consultation.