If you believe your employer or a fellow employee is guilty of malpractice or wrongdoing and want to report them but fear the repercussions of doing so then you should find out whether or not you could be protected as a whistle blower. A legal claim arises when you suffer detriment because of being a whistle blower.
What can you disclose under the protection of whistle blowing laws?
For the disclosure of information to qualify as protected under the Employment Rights Act 1996 you must ensure that your employer or colleague has, or is going to commit:
A criminal offence
A breach of a legal obligation
Miscarriage of justice
Damage to the environment
Endangering the health and safety of any individual
Covering up one of the above
If you want to disclose information of this kind you can report it directly to your employer, however in circumstances where you can’t report the incident to your employer you can report it to a prescribed person so that your employment rights are protected. In most employment situations the relevant disclosure will have been to your employer through a manger of the business.
When should you report your employer’s wrongdoings to the prescribed person?
You should only report your employers wrongdoings to the prescribed person if you believe your employer will:
Engage in a cover up
Treat you unfairly if you complained
Failed to act after you have told them of their wrongdoing
For example, if you worked for a bank and you knew the company was stealing clients’ money you would report it to the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The reason being is that this is a serious crime and the bank would more than likely stage a cover up to protect themselves.
Detriment or termination of employment for whistle blowing
If you ‘blow the whistle’ on your employer because of their inappropriate actions that happen in the workplace and it results in your employer or colleagues victimising you, which then leads to your employer terminating your employment you can claim unfair dismissal at an Employment Tribunal. Dismissing an employee or selecting them for redundancy because they made a protected disclosure is automatically deemed unfair. In addition, if you suffer a detriment other than dismissal you may be entitled to compensation from an Employment Tribunal, which can include damages for injury to feelings.
If you feel you have been unfairly treated and are interested in making a claim for unfair dismissal or if you believe you have suffered a detriment following a whistle blowing incident, then speak to our employment department. Our specialist employment solicitors can represent you in an Employment Tribunal in order to help secure a settlement that is beneficial to you. If you are concerned about the actions of your employer or a colleague and want more information on the ramifications of whistle blowing, our employment law solicitors are able to provide you with practical advice to suit your situation.
As with all Tribunal claims there strict time limits, so if you may have a case do not delay. Call us on 0151 735 1000 and speak to one of our Liverpool employment law solicitors or use our ask a solicitor service, our online app is there to provide you with free legal advice.
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