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Whistleblowing: A Client Guide to Protecting Your Rights and Interests



Whistleblowing is an act of raising concerns about possible misconduct, illegality, or other wrongdoing that may be happening within an organization. It is a courageous step taken by employees who prioritise the public interest over their own personal interests. However, whistle-blowers may face retaliation, discrimination, or even dismissal as a result of their disclosures. Therefore, it is essential for employees to understand their legal rights and the support available to them in such situations.

Whistleblowing Protections

In the United Kingdom, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) protects whistle-blowers from being subjected to any adverse treatment as a result of their disclosures. The law applies to all workers, including agency workers, trainees, and those on zero-hours contracts. The disclosure must be made in good faith and reasonably believed to be in the public interest. The public interest can cover a wide range of concerns, such as health and safety violations, financial malpractice, and illegal activities.

Under PIDA, whistle-blowers are protected against the following types of unfair treatment:

Dismissal

Redundancy

Demotion

Refusal of a transfer

Denial of a promotion

Loss of pay or benefits

Harassment or victimization

Disciplinary action

If an employee believes that they have suffered any of the above unfair treatments as a result of their whistleblowing, they may bring a claim to an employment tribunal. The tribunal can order compensation and take other action, such as reinstating the employee in their job.

Making a Whistleblowing Disclosure

Before making a whistleblowing disclosure, it is advisable for the employee to raise their concerns internally with their employer. This gives the employer the opportunity to address the concerns and rectify any wrongdoing. If the employer fails to take action, or if the employee believes that the disclosure would not be appropriately addressed by the employer, then the employee may make a disclosure externally to a prescribed person or body, such as a regulator or a government agency.

It is essential for the employee to make the disclosure in good faith and reasonably believed to be in the public interest. The employee should provide as much detail and evidence as possible to support their disclosure. However, it is important to note that personal grievances, such as disputes with colleagues, are not covered by the law.

Support Available

Whistleblowing can be a challenging and stressful experience for employees. It is important to seek legal advice to ensure that your rights are protected and to receive support throughout the process.

At MLS Legal Services we provide specialist opinion and representation to whistle-blowers. We understand the sensitive and complex nature of whistleblowing situations and provide confidential and strategic guidance to employees who are considering making a disclosure or have already done so.

Our services include:

Initial consultation to assess the case and advise on the legal options available.

Drafting and reviewing of whistleblowing policies and procedures for employers

Representation in whistleblowing claims before employment tribunals and courts

Advice on protecting your employment rights and minimizing the risks of retaliation or discrimination

Negotiating settlements and compensation packages

At MLS Legal Services, we are committed to upholding the rights and interests of whistle-blowers and ensuring that they receive fair treatment and protection under the law. We have a proven track record of successfully representing whistle-blowers in a wide range of industries and sectors, including healthcare, finance, and government.

Conclusion

Whistleblowing is a vital mechanism for holding organizations accountable and protecting the public interest. However, whistle-blowers may face negative consequences as a result of their disclosures. It is therefore essential for employees to understand their legal rights and seek legal advice to protect their interests.

At MLS Legal Services, we are dedicated to providing expert legal advice and representation to whistle-blowers. Our experienced team of lawyers can guide you through the whistleblowing process and help you navigate the legal framework to protect your rights and interests.

If you are considering making a whistleblowing disclosure, or if you have already done so and are experiencing unfair treatment, contact MLS Legal Services today. We offer a confidential and professional service, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the justice you deserve. If you have any questions about the process, contact us today on Email: theteam@mlslegal.co.uk Tel: 01784211087 or visit our website at mlslegal.co.uk.

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