Rogers & Norton News

The new grey(ish) whistleblowing test

Friday, August 16, 2013

The new whistleblowing provisions are in. As of 25th June the law is clearer about the circumstances in which whistleblowers are protected from dismissal or mistreatment in the workplace.

We’d love to say things are now black and white but, as so often the case, there are a few shades of grey.

Here are some of the main points:

  • to trigger whistleblowing protection, the employee must reasonably believe that their disclosure is in the public interest.

  • ‘public interest’ isn’t defined, but will not normally cover whistleblowing about a breach of the employee’s own employment contract. That sort of complaint should be raised as a grievance.

  • disclosures do not have to be made in good faith – they will be protected even if motivated by spite or money.

  • protection now extends to actions against the whistleblower by another employee. It used to the case that only the employer’s actions mattered. Now, a whistleblower can bring a tribunal claim stemming from a detriment, or bullying or harassment brought about by a colleague.

Talk to us about updating your whistleblowing policy to take account of the changes.