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The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 introduced into the Employment Rights Act 1996 (the ERA) protection for whistleblowers against unfair dismissal and unlawful detriment.
To gain protection, the whistleblower must have made a ‘qualifying disclosure' in ‘good faith' - a ‘protected disclosure'.
The information disclosed must, in the ‘reasonable belief' of the worker, show that one of the following has occurred, is occurring, or is likely to occur:
The information must be disclosed in ‘good faith':
The belief must be an honest one and the worker's predominant motivation behind the disclosure must be to remedy the wrong alleged, rather than some ulterior motive such as malice or personal antagonism.
The worker does not need to prove that the facts or allegations disclosed are true, or that they are capable in law of falling within one of the prescribed categories of qualifying disclosure, merely that he has a subjective belief that the failing has occurred or is likely to occur. It does not matter that such belief may ultimately prove to be incorrect.
With effect from 25 June 2013, a number of amendments will be made to the ERA whistleblowing provisions:
Pam Loch, Managing Partner of niche employment law practice, Loch Associates Employment Lawyers and Managing Director of HR Advise Me Limited.
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