LRD Booklets October 2019

Whistleblowing - a guide to the law



[page 3]

This booklet sets out the law and policy governing “whistleblowing” in the UK. Its intended audience is interested trade union reps and members who want to understand how whistleblowing law currently works, the main pitfalls and concerns, and the key proposals for reform. It also looks at developments in whistleblowing law at European level — the new European Union (EU) Whistleblowing Directive — and explains the various ways in which the protection provided by the Directive, once in force, will exceed that which is available under UK law. Depending on the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU and any subsequent trade deal, this raises the prospect of the UK’s legal standards and protections for whistleblowers falling significantly below those of our European neighbours , once the UK is no longer an EU member state.

This booklet does not contain legal advice. Union members who are considering reporting concerns about wrongdoing at work should seek expert advice from the legal department of their union, or a charity with expertise in whistleblowing such as Protect (previously Public Concern at Work). Sources of support are signposted throughout this booklet and also listed in the Further Information section (see page 55).

• Chapter 1 looks at some key issues of concern to reps and workers surrounding whistleblowing;

• Chapter 2 summarises the key features of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA);

• Chapter 3 explains who is, and is not, protected by whistleblowing laws in the UK;

• Chapter 4 looks at what types of disclosure are protected;

• Chapter 5 explains who the disclosure must be made to;

• Chapter 6 examines what types of claim can be brought in the employment tribunal;

• Chapter 7 looks at whistleblowing policies and procedures;

• Chapter 8 looks at non-disclosure agreements; and

• Chapter 9 looks at proposals for reform of whistleblowing law, including the new EU Whistleblowing Directive.