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Employment law guide

Whistle-blowers

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 protects workers (not just employees) from being victimised or dismissed for making disclosure (often in breach of contractual terms against breach of confidentiality) in certain circumstances. Only information about criminal activity, other illegality, danger to individual health and safety, environmental damage or concealment of information about these matters is protected.

The worker must believe reasonably that his disclosure is protected and that it is true and made in the public interest. Disclosure to the employer, a legal adviser, a Minister of the Crown, a Regulator, or someone to whom the employer has a legal responsibility is protected provided that the employee believes that his employer will punish him, evidence will be destroyed or that other workers have made previous disclosure without effect. Other criteria apply.

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