ACAS have recently published new guidance for employers and employees on speaking up at work. “Whistleblowing in the workplace” is an easy to understand and digestible read and covers:
- who can claim whistleblowing protection, and the circumstances in which it applies;
- legal protections from detriment and unfair dismissal;
- what disclosures are protected as whistleblowing;
- how employees can make a whistleblowing disclosure and how employers should respond; and
- whistleblowing policies, including best practice on what a policy should cover.
The guidance also covers useful practical examples and is keen to point out that whistleblowing concerns are matters that are in the public interest rather than personal concerns and therefore it is usually not good practice to Speak Up through a grievance to the employer. However, the Guidance does make the point that grievances can also amount to whistleblowing if the grievance contains an appropriate disclosure of information and so should be dealt with as such.
The guidance also recommends that employers ensure concerns are taken seriously and whistleblowers are given appropriate protections and not subject to any detriment. This includes ensuring that the person raising concerns is able to raise concerns, that their concerns are acknowledged and that they are thanked for raising the concerns; appropriate investigation of the concerns and finally that staff receive feedback whilst respecting confidentiality to other individuals.
This provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and the judgments made in every aspect of the case. Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.