- Whistleblowing essentially deals with protecting workers who expose wrongdoing within organisations, the protections are day one rights as no qualifying period is required.
- A whistleblower is protected in law if the wrongdoing they disclose is in the public interest – this depends on the Chesterton test. This considers the number of people affected, the nature and impact of the wrongdoing and who the wrongdoer is.
To be protected, the whistleblower must be an employee, a worker, freelancer a trainee, an agency worker or a member of a Limited Liability Partnership. Certain individuals, including the genuinely self-employed, trustees and volunteers, are not covered by PIDA.
Reporting a criminal offence, a health and safety risk, a risk to the environment, a miscarriage of justice, a company breaking the law, or covering up wrongdoing all count as whistleblowing, but personal grievances do not.
Whistleblowers making a disclosure that qualifies for protection can bring a tribunal claim if they are treated unfairly or lose their job for doing so. They can either bring an unlawful detriment or unfair dismissal claim.
Whistleblowers can report wrongdoing to their employer or to a prescribed person or body such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
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Please note: While every care has been taken in compiling this content, CIPD cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. These notes are not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice.
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