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Protection of a Whistleblower

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Lawdit Solicitors - Expert Author

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17 October 2011

Whistle blowing is when a person informs the public or an authoritative body about a wrongdoing occurring in a company.

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) creates protection for whistle blowers. If an employee makes a 'protected disclosure' and as a consequence is dismissed, that dismissal will be deemed unfair automatically.

A protected disclosure is a disclosure made to one of the specified categories of person in the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA). In addition, for a disclosure to be protected and made in the right way it must be made in good faith. Provided that the disclosure is made in good faith, if it is made to the employer it is regarded as a protected disclosure.

In order for someone to be protected as a whistleblower, they must make a qualifying disclosure. A qualifying disclosure could be for example, criminal offence or a failure to comply with legal obligations.

In order to protect wider qualifying disclosures the worker must reasonably believe that the disclosure made and any allegations contained within it are of a true nature. The worker must also be aware that making a disclosure for some benefit or gain is not acceptable.

The following tests determine whether or not a whistleblower qualifies for protection:

1. Is there a qualifying disclosure?

2. Has a disclosure been made?

3. Has one or more of the six specified types of malpractice taken place? Criminal offence, breach of any legal obligation, miscarriage of justice, danger to the health and safety of any individual, damage to the environment, a deliberate attempt to conceal information about any of the above.

Aneela Akbar can be contacted at aneela.akbar@lawdit.co.uk Lawdit is a commercial law firm based in Southampton with associate offices in London, Malaga and Rome


About the Author

Lawdit Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.



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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2011-11-22 17:01:23 in Legal Articles

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