The Whistleblower

The Whistleblower is an employee who reports suspected wrongdoing in the workplace; its technical name is ‘making a disclosure in the public interest’.

Your employees can report if they believe:

  • Someone’s health and safety is in danger
  • There’s a risk of actual damage to the environment
  • It’s a criminal offence
  • The company isn’t obeying the law (e.g fraudulent behaviour/ incorrect insurance)
  • You are covering up wrongdoing

If somebody were to report a concern, they should follow this procedure:

  • Check for a Whistleblowing policy in the employee handbook or speak to HR if their company has a whistleblowing policy
  • If they feel they can approach their employer on the subject, they should contact them directly
  • If they can’t talk to their employer, they should contact a prescribed person or body

A person can only tell the prescribed person or body if they think that the employer:

  • Will cover it up
  • Would treat them unfairly if they complained
  • Haven’t resolved it and they’ve already told you

The whistleblower cannot be punished or dismissed for reporting a concern.  If they are in fact dismissed due to a genuine whistleblowing claim they can then claim for unfair dismissal and are protected by law.

The people protected by law are:

  • Employees
  • Agency Workers
  • People that are training with an employer (not necessarily employes
  • Self employed Workers, if supervised or working off site
  • School or sixth form college employee or agency worker
  • NHS workers under certain contractual agreements

Whistleblowing claims should be treated fairly at all times.  For advice and support on this take a look at our HR Services and book a free consultation.

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