Following on from our first successful Periscope session, we recorded another on Whistleblowing.
Nicola Williams took to the airwaves to explain in basic terms what Whsitleblowing is and also tackled a couple of related questions from our social media followers.
If you want to see us answer any of your legal questions Live, then please drop our marketing team an email.
Our broadcast can be found below as can a transcript of it.
I’ve had quite a few questions come in, thank you very much for those. The main topic that seems to be covered is the issue of Whistleblowing, so today I’m going to cover that topic today.
So I’ll just give you a brief overview of what Whistleblowing is. It’s when you report certain types of wrong doing. This will usually be but not always within your workplace. I will go into it in more detail with the questions.
So the first question I have is – I work in a factory as a temporary worker, am I protected by Whistleblowing? – So in employment law you are a whistleblower if you are a worker and you reports certain types of wrong doing. The worker can be an employee, a trainee, an agency worker or a member of a partnership. So yes, you are protected but always make sure that you check your company’s policy because they may have a Whistleblowing policy you can follow.
My second question is – I’m being bullied by my boss, does telling my employer about this count as Whistleblowing? – It could do but it’s most likely that it won’t. Whistleblowing disclosures must be made in the public interest. This means that it must affect others. Your better option is to raise this issue following your company’s grievance procedures. So just so you are aware, under employment law Whistleblowing disclosure has to be one of the following: A criminal offence e.g. fraud; if someone’s health and safety is in danger; there is a risk or actual damage to the environment; there is a miscarriage of justice; the company is breaking the law for example they don’t have the right insurance or you believe that wrong doing is being covered up.
So the next question I have – I’m too scared to whistleblow to my employer, is there anyone else I can tell? – Well, yes there are, there are some other options that you can report your concerns to. Firstly, you can seek legal advice from a lawyer or you can tell a prescribed personal body. Now this is a regulatory body of a certain industry, an example of this would be the Care Quality Commission for care homes, but you have to make sure that it relates to the issue that you have. You can also go to organisations such as our friends Whistleblowing UK.
The next question I have – I do not feel like my employer has done anything after I’ve whistleblown, what can I actually do? – so if you don’t feel as though your concerns have been dealt with by your employer or the issue is still going on then you can either go to a more senior member of staff or you can go to a prescribed person or body as I’ve previously mentioned.
Next question I have – I have been sacked because of whistleblowing, do I have a claim? – So under employment law it’s unlawful to be treated, well suffer detrimental treatment as a result of whistleblowing and also if you are dismissed as a result of whistleblowing, it’s automatically unfair. So, you could have a claim but it’s very important that you have sufficient evidence to prove that the concern you’ve raised is actually a protected disclosure as I previously mentioned and you must also prove that there is a sufficient link between the whistleblowing concern that you raised and then your dismissal, so if you make the whistleblowing concern about a year ago and you are then dismissed for performance issues you may struggle to bring forward a claim because the link there would be very weak. The good thing about whistleblowing though and any kind of claim related to whistleblowing is that you don’t have to have the two years’ continuous service and there is also no cap on damages which is true for most common unfair dismissal claims.
So that’s all the questions that I was asked on the topic, I hope that’s answered them sufficiently, please note that whistleblowing a very complex area of law so I have just covered the very basic elements of it. If you need any more information whatsoever on whistleblowing or any other employment issues please do go to our website www.michaellewin.co.uk or you can always call us, we are always happy to help and discuss any issue you may have.
Thank you very much for watching, please tune in for our next Periscope session which will be showing very shortly.