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Employment law provides wide ranging protection for whistleblowers at work.

A whistleblower is a person who, in the public interest, makes a disclosure about matters such as criminal offences, breaches of legal obligation and health and safety matters.  This can extend to disclosure concerning, for example, the breach of employment contracts of a group of employees.

Whistleblowers are protected from unfair dismissal (including constructive dismissal) and from detriment, for example, disciplinary action, demotion or failure to promote an individual.

The level of importance attached to the protection afforded by the whistleblowing legislation is reflected by the following:

  • no qualifying period of employment is required to make a whistleblowing claim;
  • the protection is afforded not only to employees but also to former employees, directors, contractors, agency workers and some partners and LLP members;
  • Employment Tribunal awards are unlimited and can include awards for ‘injury to feelings’ similar to those made in discrimination cases. There are a number of examples where whistleblowers have been awarded compensation in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The lack of a requirement for qualifying employment and the unlimited scope for compensation in a whistleblowing claim means that such a claim is an attractive claim for an employee or worker to raise, often alleging that treatment received from the employer is as a consequence of some earlier grievance or complaint raised.

The legislation is complex and designed only to protect genuine whistleblowers.  In order to achieve whistleblower protection, individuals must ensure that the disclosure is in the public interest, has relevant content and has been raised in an appropriate manner.

Our Employment lawyers are experienced in representing employers facing whistleblowing claims and they are skilled at undermining claims made on a frivolous basis or otherwise lacking merit.

Although, the whistleblowing legislation imposes no positive obligations on employers to implement a whistleblowing policy, we often recommend that employers adopt such policies as a means of managing risk.  Our Employment lawyers are also able to assist in implementing appropriate policies and procedures.

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Our Approach

Our employment solicitors are dedicated to assisting and advising on how to achieve your business objectives in the most efficient and practical way. We pride ourselves on providing straightforward and bespoke advice tailored to your business requirements and resources.

We understand that employers need to be decisive and act calmly but quickly in the context of the current coronavirus crisis.

Your work will be carried out by a qualified solicitor in the team, who knows your business requirements best. Work is also carried out at the appropriate level, depending on the complexity, sensitivity and importance of the matter. 

We work closely with our clients to ensure that we meet their expectations both in terms of their objectives and in relation to costs. We are aware that clarity on costs is vitally important to our clients, especially at a time when businesses are challenged by sudden and dramatic changes to economic circumstances.

As standard practice, we give our clients an estimate of the costs involved in undertaking any piece of work at the outset. We then provide cost updates on a regular basis. We are also happy to discuss fixed fees and retainer arrangements and agreements if that is helpful.

Meet Our Specialists

Home-grown or recruited from national, regional or City firms. Our specialists are experts in their fields and respected by their peers.

Joanne Evans

Joanne Evans

Jo is a Partner and Head of our Employment department

Joanne Henderson

Joanne Henderson

Jo is a Partner in both our Employment and Compliance departments

Charlotte Gilbert

Charlotte Gilbert

Charlotte is the Head of Myerson HR and a Senior Associate in our Employment department

Patrick Byrne

Patrick Byrne

Patrick is an Associate in our Employment department

Jordan Buckle

Jordan Buckle

Jordan is a Solicitor in our Employment department

Vicki Fagan

Vicki Fagan

Vicki is a Solicitor in our Employment Department.

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0161 941 4000

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