LRD Booklets October 2019

Whistleblowing - a guide to the law

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Introduction

Introduction 
 [page 3] (324 words)

This booklet sets out the law and policy governing “whistleblowing” in the UK. Its intended audience is interested trade union reps and members ...
Open access

Chapter 1

1. Overview [ch 1: pages 3-8] (1,972 words)

In general terms, “whistleblowing” is the process of reporting or disclosing wrongdoing you believe is taking place where you work. There is no ...
Subscribers only

Chapter 2

2. Whistleblowing law — a summary 
 [ch 2: page 9] (127 words)

This Chapter summarises the basic framework of whistleblowing law in the UK. Other Chapters provide more detailed information about each aspect of ...
Subscribers only

Sources of law
 [ch 2: pages 9-10] (340 words)

What disclosures are protected 
 [ch 2: page 10] (205 words)

Who is protected
 [ch 2: page 10] (62 words)

Who should disclosures be made to 
 [ch 2: pages 10-11] (255 words)

What types of claim can be brought 
 [ch 2: page 11] (149 words)

Dismissal 
 [ch 2: pages 11-12] (163 words)

Detriment 
 [ch 2: page 12] (72 words)

Non-disclosure agreements 
 [ch 2: page 12] (110 words)

Is a whistleblowing claim appropriate?
 [ch 2: page 12] (154 words)

Chapter 3

3. Who is protected 
 [ch 3: page 13] (427 words)

Whistleblowing law is found in the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) and the equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland (see Chapter 2). 
 ...
Subscribers only

Former workers
 [ch 3: page 14] (224 words)

Disclosure in previous job 
 [ch 3: page 14] (213 words)

Agency workers 
 [ch 3: page 15] (227 words)

Umbrella and Personal Service Companies 
 [ch 3: page 15] (121 words)

What if there is no contract? 
 [ch 3: pages 15-16] (170 words)

Homeworkers 
 [ch 3: page 16] (83 words)

Job applicants 
 [ch 3: page 16] (168 words)

Nurses and midwives in training 
 [ch 3: page 16] (51 words)

Work experience placements 
 [ch 3: page 16] (49 words)

Crown employees 
 [ch 3: page 17] (37 words)

New EU Directive on Whistleblowing 
 [ch 3: page 17] (103 words)

Does UK whistleblowing law protect someone who was about to blow the whistle but had not yet done so?
 [ch 3: pages 19] (747 words)

Chapter 4

4. What types of disclosures are protected
 [ch 4: page 20] (192 words)

To be protected, there must be a qualifying disclosure (section 43A, ERA 96), and it must be made in a particular way (sections 43C to 43H, ERA 96). ...
Subscribers only

What is a qualifying disclosure? 
 [ch 4: page 20] (209 words)

Public interest 
 [ch 4: pages 21-24] (1,692 words)

No need to show good faith
 [ch 4: page 24] (136 words)

Need for specific factual information 
 [ch 4: pages 25-27] (1,206 words)

The ‘manner’ of making the disclosure
 [ch 4: page 27] (172 words)

Whistleblower or detective?
 [ch 4: page 28] (201 words)

Whistleblower or campaigner for change?
 [ch 4: pages 28-29] (493 words)

Chapter 5

5. Who should the disclosure be made to? 
 [ch 5: page 30] (155 words)

Chapter 4 looked at the tests that are used to decide whether the content of a disclosure and the motivation of its maker meet the legal requirements ...
Subscribers only

Disclosure to the employer 
 [ch 5: pages 30-31] (437 words)

Disclosure to a legal adviser
 [ch 5: page 31] (82 words)

Disclosure to a prescribed person or MP
 [ch 5: pages 31-32] (388 words)

Disclosure to an organisation that is not prescribed 
 [ch 5: pages 32-33] (529 words)

Disclosure of ‘exceptionally serious’ failure 
 [ch 5: pages 33-34] (393 words)

Gagging clauses
 [ch 5: page 34] (83 words)

Chapter 6

6. What types of claim can be brought 
 [ch 6: page 35] (160 words)

This Chapter looks at the kinds of claim that can be brought in the employment tribunal to enforce rights under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 199 ...
Subscribers only

Automatically unfair dismissal 
 [ch 6: pages 35-36] (465 words)

Detriment
 [ch 6: pages 36-38] (972 words)

Proving the claim — some key pitfalls
 [ch 6: pages 38-39] (410 words)

Remedies [ch 6: pages 39-40] (264 words)

Interim relief
 [ch 6: pages 40-41] (627 words)

Time limits
 [ch 6: pages 41-42] (178 words)

Chapter 7

7. Whistleblowing policies
 [ch 7: pages 43-44] (739 words)

There is currently no legal requirement, outside specific sectors such as financial services, for an employer to have a whistleblowing policy. Even ...
Subscribers only

What should a whistleblowing policy look like?
 [ch 7: pages 44-46] (871 words)

Chapter 8

8. Non-disclosure agreements 
 [ch 8: pages 47-49] (1,011 words)

The use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to stifle whistleblowing is a topical issue in 2019. At the time of writing, the government is under ...
Subscribers only

Chapter 9

9. Proposals for reform 
 [ch 9: pages 50-51] (798 words)

As this booklet has tried to show, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) is widely recognised as being unfit for purpose. It cannot safely ...
Subscribers only

New EU Directive on whistleblowing
 [ch 9: pages 52-54] (1,125 words)

Further information
 [pages 55-56] (636 words)

Copies of relevant statutes and regulations are available online at: www.legislation.gov.uk. In Northern Ireland, legislation is published on the ...
Subscribers only