Overview

The key piece of whistleblowing legislation is the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, which was passed when a series of official inquiries revealed that some corporate disasters and scandals may have been prevented if workers who knew about the dangers had not been too scared to speak out.

There are many other Acts, Orders and Regulations that refer to whistleblowing, a list of which is given at the end of these Q&As. Guidance produced by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy covers the laws in more detail.

What is whistleblowing?

What steps does the government Code of practice on whistleblowing recommend?

Which employees and workers are protected by the whistleblowing legislation and are they protected even if they made the disclosure while working for a previous employer?

Is an employer liable if one employee causes detriment to another employee because of their whistleblowing?

Is an employer liable if they did not know of the disclosure, or if the employee was not acting in good faith or in the public interest?

Do employers have to introduce a whistleblowing policy?

What is the time limit for bringing a whistleblowing claim?

Who are external regulators and what is the nature of their involvement with whistleblowing cases?

Is there case law guidance on the amount of compensation an employer will have to pay an employee who is dismissed and then succeeds in a whistleblowing claim?

What is the nature of the protection afforded to a whistleblower?

What is the employer’s position if the whistleblower commits an illegal act leading to the disclosure?

What are gagging clauses and are they effective to silence whistleblowers?

Can the employer dismiss an employee for causing problems after whistleblowing, and not because of the actual disclosure itself?

Future developments

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Factsheets

Whistleblowing at work

Information on the UK legal position on whistleblowing, what to include in a whistleblowing policy, and how to implement one in the workplace

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