In a society ever aware of corruption and unlawful practice, whistleblowers have an important role to play in exposing wrongdoing and dangerous practices in the workplace.
For this reason, employment law provides wide ranging protection for whistleblowers at work.
A whistleblower is a person who makes a disclosure about matters such as criminal offences, breaches of legal obligations and health and safety matters in the public interest. This can extend to disclosures concerning, for example, the breach of employment contracts of a group of employees.
How are whistleblowers protected?
Whistleblowers are protected from unfair dismissal (including constructive dismissal). This means that if you are dismissed or forced to resign as a result of blowing the whistle, you have been unfairly dismissed and are entitled to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal.
Whistleblowers are also entitled to compensation if they are subjected to a detriment as a result of blowing the whistle. This could include, for example, being subjected to disciplinary action, a demotion or the loss of a benefit as a result of making a disclosure.
The level of protection afforded to whistleblowers is higher than the norm and includes the following:
- No qualifying period of employment is required to make a whistleblowing claim;
- 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 protection is afforded not only to employees but also to former employees, directors, contractors, agency workers and some partners and LLP members.
How we can help
In order to achieve whistleblower protection, individuals must ensure that they make a disclosure in the public interest, that it has relevant content and has been raised in an appropriate manner. Whistleblowers will also need to consider whether to use any internal whistleblowing policy that the employer has adopted.
Our Employment lawyers are experienced in advising potential whistleblowers on these issues. We also assist whistleblowers assert their rights not to be unfairly and unlawfully treated as a consequence of having made a disclosure in the public interest.
Recent examples of our work in this area include:
- Advising a senior executive of a listed business in relation to a dispute with his employer, including allegations that he had been treated less favourably for raising whistleblowing concerns.
- Defending whistleblowing allegations raised in the Employment Tribunal by a solicitor against a national law firm.
- Dealing with an Employment Tribunal claim where allegations of financial irregularities had been raised by the Finance Director and he had been dismissed as a result.
If you would like assistance in relation to a potential whistleblowing issue, please contact a member of our employment team.
Why use Myerson’s Employment Team?
Our specialist team of employment solicitors is described in the independent Legal 500 directory as “excellent”. In addition, both Partners in our team are recommended by the Legal 500. Therefore, you can be reassured that you will deal with some of the best employment solicitors in the country.
We are determined and robust on your behalf, but also easy to deal with and clear in our advice. We will fight your corner but understand that a common sense approach is often required in order to find solutions that work for you in the context of your professional and personal circumstances.
Collectively, we have over fifty years’ experience of providing strategic employment law advice to senior individuals and others facing difficult work-place issues and who need support and guidance in:
- understanding their legal rights and their practical options; and
- achieving the best possible outcome, whether at the start, during or at the end of their working relationship.
Our ethos is to provide our clients with an alternative to the major regional and national firms by offering high quality legal advice from highly experienced, specialist lawyers, but on a much more cost-effective basis.
In particular, we offer:
- Clear and straightforward advice.
- Cost-effective support and certainty on costs where you need it.
- Extensive experience of advising senior executives, directors, partners and others with complex employment concerns, including discrimination issues and group claims.
- A credible team that is used to dealing with and acting against large employers and law firms on behalf of our clients.
Our approach to costs
We know that clarity on costs is vitally important to our clients. 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 costs updates on a regular basis.
We work closely with our clients to ensure that we meet their expectations both in terms of their objectives for a particular piece of work and in relation to costs. In addition, we are happy to discuss fixed fees and retainer arrangements if that is helpful to you.
How We Can Help
A member of our specialist team will be happy to help.
To discuss Whistleblower Protection issues, please either use the contact form on the right, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us today on +44(0)161 941 4000 to speak to a member of our team.