Whistleblowing can be a complex subject. With so much information available on the internet, from various different organisations including the government, charities, law firms, newspapers, regulators and much more in between, it’s often difficult to quickly digest what you need to know. That’s why we’ve put together our quick and simple guide to the dos and don’ts of whistleblowing.
Do: Get professional legal advice before whistleblowing. You need to make your disclosure in the right way and to the right person in order to ensure that you’re protected.
Do: Make sure your disclosure is in the public interest. For example, if it is criminal behaviour or the covering up of wrongdoing then the public should be made aware according to the Public Disclosure Act 1998.
Do: Make your disclosure in ‘good faith’. This means you must act honestly and sincerely, believe the information is true and not act for personal gain.
Do: Make your disclosure in the proper manner. You should first speak to your employer directly or contact a prescribed person or body.
Do: Visit the GOV.UK website for a full list of prescribed people or bodies you can make your disclosure to.
Do: Ensure you get proof that you made the disclosure, to whom, when, how and with the presence of a witness.
Do: Get advice and support from whistleblowing charities and organisations. Here’s a list of places you can go:
Don’t: Whistleblow on topics such as personal grievances. This is not protected by law and you should report it to your employer via the proper channels.
Don’t: Make your disclosure direct to the press, in most cases you will not be protected.
Don’t: Act for personal gain. If you stand to make money from selling your story to the press or benefit from an improvement in your position, it is unlikely that you will be protected by law.
Don’t: Miss your chance to report unfair treatment or unfair dismissal. If you feel you have been treated unfairly as a result of whistleblowing, you must report you case within 3 months of your employment ending for your claim to be valid.