Editor's message: “Whistleblowing” is when a worker discloses information relating to malpractice or wrongdoing in his or her workplace.
Workers who blow the whistle are protected under whistleblowing legislation from being victimised or dismissed, provided that their disclosure meets certain criteria and they genuinely and reasonably believe that their disclosure was in the public interest.
While case law and statute have not provided absolute rules as to what counts as being “in the public interest”, courts and tribunals have tended to give a liberal interpretation to the phrase. In Chesterton Global Ltd and another v Nurmohamed  IRLR 837 CA, the Court of Appeal held that a worker’s disclosure relating to a breach of the employment contracts of 100 managers of a national estate agency, was made in the public interest and protected under the whistleblowing legislation.
Whistleblowing claims can be costly and damaging to your organisation's reputation. Dismissals for blowing the whistle are automatically unfair and there is no minimum service requirement for bringing a claim and no roof to the compensation that a tribunal can award.
Developing and promoting a clear and robust policy for your workers to raise their concerns about wrongdoing can help your organisation to minimise the risk, as well as assist you in dealing with whistleblowing claims effectively.
Fiona Cuming, employment law editor
Ofgem has been accused by two whistleblowers of exploiting national security laws to prevent them airing concerns over projects involving billions of pounds.
Updated to include information on Kilraine v London Borough of Wandsworth, concerning the meaning of a protected disclosure.
The headlines are being dominated by "gig economy" employment status cases, but there are plenty of other important employment law cases coming up. We discuss the potential implications for employers of forthcoming rulings on whistleblowing, data protection, restrictive covenants, covert CCTV and violence at work-related social events.
In Kilraine v London Borough of Wandsworth, the Court of Appeal held that an "allegation" can contain "information" and the terms are not mutually exclusive for the purposes of the whistleblowing legislation.
Updated to reflect that NHS employers in England, Wales and Scotland may not discriminate against a job applicant because it appears that the applicant has made a protected disclosure.
Updated to take account of the General Data Protection Regulation, in force from 25 May 2018.
Updated to include information on the European Commission's proposed Directive to strengthen whistleblower protection.
Barclays chief executive Jes Staley was last week fined £642,430 for breaking rules by attempting to identify a whistleblower. The bank has also cut £500,000 from Staley's bonus.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to whistleblowing/Public interest disclosures.