Compensation claims for whistleblowing, speak to Truth Legal Solicitors today.
Compensation claims for whistleblowing, speak to Truth Legal Solicitors today.
We all like to think we’d do the right thing if we saw a crime or injustice. In a work environment, speaking out the actions (the inaction) of your employer is referred to as ‘Whistleblowing’, and is an important step in preventing workplace malpractice.
However, we understand it can feel like a big step to take. How should I go about it? What happens if I get fired? Will people at work treat me differently?
If you have suffered detrimental treatment following a whistleblowing procedure,Truth Legal can provide help and guidance. If you have suffered an unfair dismissal or other negative consequences from speaking out, we may be able to secure compensation.
Whistleblowing is speaking out against wrongdoing in your workplace. The term is really a nickname for making a protected disclosure. In other words, disclosing certain information in a way which qualifies you for legal protection.
If you qualify for this legal protection, you have the right to claim compensation for negative consequences which you may suffer as a result. This could be losing your job or receiving detrimental treatment from your employer or co-workers.
If you have already suffered negative consequences from a disclosure you made, you should seriously consider making a claim.
Making a disclosure is often the right thing to do and so you should not lose out from doing it. There could be serious consequences to your career and finances from making a disclosure and making a claim for compensation can ensure this injustice does not stand.
Discovering that your employer may be involved in some wrongdoing can naturally lead to a great deal of uncertainty. We explore what counts as ‘wrongdoing’ below, but you might be concerned about:
Depending on your position in the company, you might be obliged to make a disclosure in some circumstances, particularly if you are employed in a senior or director-level position.
However, legal protection for whistleblowing is not guaranteed. You must meet certain requirements to benefit from it. This is why, if you have not yet spoken out against your employer, it is important to seek legal advice before making a disclosure.
provides expert advice to individuals concerning whistleblowing claims:
“If you become aware of something at work that gives you serious cause for concern, it might be a good idea if you were to call me to discuss the matter.
“Deciding whether to “blow-the-whistle” can be a very stressful experience. Talking to a lawyer, in confidence, can help you to identify whether you may have a claim for whistleblowing, as well as informing you how best to manage the process.
“In addition, whistleblowing claims should be handled professionally, and expertly, in order to ensure that individuals secure the best possible compensation for their loss following a claim for a whistleblowing detriment or dismissal.”
There are two general kinds of whistleblowing claim:
Depending on your circumstances, you may have claims for detrimental treatment and an unfair dismissal arising from the same situation.
Detrimental treatment covers a wide range of behaviour. It can include:
The detriment you suffer does not have to be at the hands of your employer directly. If your co-workers or colleagues subject you to mistreatment at work, you will still be able to claim against your employer. This is because workers are treated as ‘agents’ of their employer and an employer can be liable for the conduct of their employees.
Almost any kind of worker may be eligible to claim for detrimental treatment following a whistleblowing disclosure. This includes:
However, there are some very specific exceptions, such as for members of the security services, parliamentary staff, and some merchant seamen.
If you are unsure whether you are eligible to claim for a detriment, or whether the treatment you have received would qualify as detrimental, contact Truth Legal to speak to a specialist employment solicitor.
Unlike claims for detrimental treatment, you can only claim for an unfair dismissal if you worked in the capacity of an employee, under a contract of employment, before your dismissal.
You do not necessarily have to be fired to claim for a whistleblowing unfair dismissal. If your employer’s conduct is such that you are forced to resign, this may still count as a ‘dismissal’. This is referred to as constructive dismissal.
We look at the full eligibility requirements for making an unfair dismissal claim on our unfair dismissal page. However, whistleblowing is considered to be an ‘automatically unfair’ reason for a dismissal, which gives a strong footing for a claim. It means:
There are several parts to establishing a successful whistleblowing claim. They relate to:
The information you disclose
To qualify for legal protection, the subject of your disclosure must fall into one of the following categories. These can relate to past events, current events, or events that you reasonably expect to happen. To be protected, the information you are disclosing must concern:
To illustrate, here are some examples of information which could be protected if you were to disclose it:
There are also requirements relating to your motives behind disclosing the information. You must reasonably believe that disclosing the information would be ‘in the public interest’. Although what counts as the public interest is not specifically defined, tribunals have taken the approach of looking at several factors to determine the issue. These include how many people are ‘affected’ by the wrongdoing, how important the issue is, whether the wrongdoing was deliberate, and whether it is being committed by a high-profile organisation.
The disclosure process you follow
A crucial part of making a protected disclosure is how your disclosure is made, and to whom.
To receive legal protection, you must disclose the information to either:
Your dismissal or the detriment you suffer
To be able to claim any compensation, you must have suffered negative effects. For a whistleblowing claim these effects must have occurred as a result of making your disclosure. Legal protection means you have a right to seek redress for any negative consequences you suffer from whistleblowing. As such, if your disclosure meets the other requirements above, you are entitled to be compensated for your dismissal or for suffering detriment.
You must show that your dismissal was a direct consequence of your whistleblowing disclosure. However, if you can prove you have made a protected disclosure, it is possible for a tribunal to draw inferences that your disclosure led to your dismissal.
Detrimental treatment could come from your employer or your co-workers. However, the motive behind your detrimental treatment must be the whistleblowing disclosure you made. This means whoever is inflicting the detriment must have personal knowledge that you made a disclosure and this must be the reason why they are ‘victimising’ you.
In general, you have 3 months less one day in which to make a whistleblowing claim. Missing the deadline usually means you will be unable to bring a claim. If in doubt, it is usually a good idea to start the ACAS Early Conciliation period in order to “stop the clock.”
Where you are claiming unfair dismissal, the time limit will run from the date upon which your employment was terminated. Our unfair dismissal claims page has a lot more information about this.
For detriment claims, the 3-month period will begin from the date of the act in question. Matters can be more complicated if the detrimental treatment was over a period of time or involved omissions on your employer’s part rather than direct action. Truth Legal’s specialist employment law solicitors will be able to advise you further in these situations.
The claim deadlines involved are tight and, although some exceptions may apply to these general rules, it is always recommended that you start your claim as soon as possible. If you think you may have a whistleblowing claim, contact us right away to discuss your situation.
Claims for whistleblowing are different from some other types of employment law claim, as the amount of compensation you may receive is not limited to a set maximum.
Whereas other kinds of unfair dismissal claim have compensation ‘capped’ at £89,493 (for dismissals occurring between 6 April 2021 and 5 April 2022), or one year’s salary (whichever is lower), this does not apply if you are unfairly dismissed because of a whistleblowing disclosure.
If you claim for detriment as a result of whistleblowing, you are also able to claim for injury to feelings. The amount of compensation will depend on the severity of your mistreatment. There are guidelines which indicate the amount of compensation that you will be entitled to:
These bands are for claims brought between 6 April 201 and 5 April 2022 and the bands are usually reviewed each year.
As you can see from the information on this page, the law around whistleblowing and making protected disclosures can be complicated. To get the best possible representation, it is important to engage the services of real solicitors who specialise in this area of law.
Truth Legal’s specialist employment law solicitors have conducted many whistleblowing cases, as well as claims involving victimisation and unfair dismissal. We provide an ethical, honest service to all of our clients and work tirelessly to secure the compensation our clients deserve.
Funding a whistleblowing detriment or dismissal claim can often be a concern. Truth Legal will discuss your options with you fully before any action is taken on your behalf. The following are some of the options which may be available to you:
Book a consultation today to discuss your whistleblowing claim.
If you would like more information on claiming whistleblowing compensation, or you wish to discuss your situation, contact us today. If you require an in-depth consultation, we offer a detailed 2 hour consultation, which costs £280 incl. vat. There is no obligation to proceed further. You can book and pay for a consultation with an employment expert by contacting us.
Let us help you to claim the compensation you deserve.
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