Protection of a Whistleblower
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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
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
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
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
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
firstname.lastname@example.org Lawdit is a commercial law firm based in
Southampton with associate offices in London, Malaga and Rome
About the Author
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
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2011-11-22 17:01:23 in Legal Articles