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Updating author: Kalpana Murthy


  • Workers who "blow the whistle" on their employer by making a protected disclosure, ie a disclosure concerning an alleged criminal offence or other wrongdoing, have the legal right not to be dismissed, selected for redundancy or subjected to any other detriment (demotion, forfeiture of opportunities for promotion or training, etc) for having done so. (See Legal background and Meaning of "protected disclosure")
  • Any term in a contract that purports to override a worker's right to make such a disclosure is null and void. (See Legal background)
  • A disclosure about an employer's alleged wrongdoing will be protected if it is made in the public interest (in the reasonable belief of the worker making the disclosure) either directly to the employer or to another person within the employing organisation perceived to be responsible for the wrongdoing. (See Disclosure to employer or other responsible person)
  • Workers may also make protected disclosures to bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive, the Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs, the Environment Agency and the Serious Fraud Office. (See Disclosure to the appropriate authorities; Disclosure in other cases; and Disclosures about exceptionally serious failures)
  • Employers should develop simple and readily accessible internal procedures for dealing with such allegations. (See Disclosure to employer or other responsible person)
  • A worker who is dismissed, selected for redundancy, or subjected to any other detriment for making a protected disclosure may complain to an employment tribunal. (See Employment tribunals and remedies)

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