‘Whistleblowing’ is the figurative word used for instances where an employee or worker discloses suspected occurrences of wrongdoing or malpractice within their employer organisation.
An individual who does ‘blow the whistle’ will be protected in legislation from being dismissed or suffering a detriment as a result of their disclosure and claims in this area can result in substantial compensation awards.
However, two criteria must be satisfied in order for the individual making the disclosure to receive the protections provided for in law. These are:
- the information disclosed must relate to crimes, breaches of a legal obligation, miscarriages of justice, dangers to health and safety or the environment and/or the concealing of evidence relating to any of these; and
- an employee must disclose the information in ‘good faith’. This means that the employee must not have ulterior motives for the disclosure and reasonably believe the information to be truthful (even if the information is later shown to be incorrect).
Additionally, the disclosure must be conveyed to either their employer (either directly or by using a procedure authorised by the employer for that purpose) or to another person who the employee or worker reasonably believes to be solely or mainly responsible for the relevant failure. Disclosures made to external parties may also be protected provided the disclosure is reasonable and proportionate to the seriousness of the relevant failure.
Ideally employers should have a whistleblowing policy in place which includes a procedure to follow in the event an employee or worker wishes to disclose something. Any disclosures under the policy must be appropriately investigated.
Lawspeed can advise on whistleblowing policies and procedures, just call us on 01273 236 236.
Adrian, a highly experienced lawyer, founded Lawspeed in 1997. He is responsible for developing our extensive portfolio of products and services, including the widely used Lawspeed contract templates. Adrian is an expert on “recruitment law” and specialises in contracts, regulatory compliance, employment status and dispute handling. He is chair of the trade body the Association of Recruitment Consultancies, the only lawyer lead recruitment trade body in the UK. Adrian and his co-director Ravi devised Standards in Recruitment as a vehicle for helping drive up standards and compliance in the industry.
Adrian is our lead in discussions with the government over regulatory evolution. Apart from assisting with client support, Adrian’s primary role is research and development into methods of business delivery, our latest service Proterms being his most recent project. Adrian heads our IR35 lawyers team.