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Whistleblowing update

Legislation protecting whistleblowers was introduced seven years ago. This article reviews the legislation and considers some of the substantial body of case law arising out of it. It also looks at the components of an effective whistleblowing policy.

Key Points

  • The whistleblowing legislation protection extends to nearly all categories of worker apart from the genuinely self-employed.
  • To attract protection, a disclosure must satisfy strict requirements, including that it must be made to a particular person or category of persons.
  • A disclosure will not be made "in good faith" if an ulterior motive was the predominant purpose for making it.
  • There is no ceiling on the level of compensation for unfair dismissal in whistleblowing cases and no minimum period of continuous employment required to bring a claim.
  • Compensation for injury to feelings in whistleblowing cases should be calculated in the same way as an award in respect of discrimination.
  • Protection from suffering detriment for having made a protected disclosure extends to former employees.