Legislation overview

The key piece of whistleblowing legislation is the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. Other Acts and Statutory Instruments which govern the topic are:

  • Police Reform Act 2002 Section 37
  • Employment Rights Act 1996 Section 103A
  • Employment Rights Act 1996 Sections 43A to 43L
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/3242) Regulation 14
  • Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
  • Public Interest Disclosure (Compensation) Order 1999 (SI 1999/1548)
  • Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) Order 1999 (SI 1999/1549)
  • Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) (Amendment) Order 2003 (SI 2003/1993)
  • Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) (Amendment) Order 2004 (SI 2004/3265)
  • Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons)(Amendment) Order 2005 (SI 2005/2464)
  • The Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/131)
  • Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 - will make a number of changes to whistleblowing protection.
  • Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) Order 2014
  • Protected Disclosures (Extension of Meaning of Worker) Order 2015.

Q: What is whistleblowing?

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

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

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

Q: 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?

Q: Do employers have to introduce a whistleblowing policy?

Q: What is the time limit for bringing a whistleblowing claim?

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

Q: 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?

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

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

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

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

Q: Are any further developments expected in the area of whistleblowing?