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Whistleblowing and Interim Relief

If an employee notices some wrongful activity in the workplace, they may choose to blow the whistle and report it. As an employer, you should have a whistleblowing policy in place which clearly sets out your process for dealing with whistleblowing allegations and ensure that all managers and staff are trained on the policy, and above all, apply this policy consistently in every case.



Whistleblowing can be complex and, understandably, the whistleblower may be reluctant to discuss the matter for fear of repercussions. Protection should be afforded to the individual who made the protected disclosure. Whenever an employee blows the whistle or makes a protected disclosure, you should not consider the motivation behind the allegation but look at the disclosure itself.

Dismissing a whistleblower, or beginning disciplinary proceedings against them, attracts risk and can lead to claims at the Employment Tribunal, regardless of how genuinely you believe the employee is making an allegation (or protected disclosure) in bad faith. Therefore, you should treat disclosures with diligence and respect and follow the process set out in your whistleblowing policy, even if you believe the disclosure is not a protected disclosure.

Where a whistleblower has been dismissed, they could bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal and apply for interim relief in respect of any action taken against them. If granted, this would mean that the employer will have to pay the whistleblower’s salary until the date of any final hearing. Despite this being very beneficial for the employee, it is rare for a judge to award this due to the substantial hurdles that an employee is forced to overcome.

Our Employment Team has extensive experience in supporting employers in dealing with whistleblowing and protected disclosures and in resisting applications for interim relief of this type in the Employment Tribunal. If you are in a position where you may need advice in dealing with any of these issues, our team of expert employment solicitors will be able to help.

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