Advice on whistleblowing

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If you want to report wrongdoing at work

What would you do if the owner of your company put someone’s life in danger? You might be worried about speaking up. After all, if the buck stops at the top, you could lose your job. Maybe you’ve already spoken up because you’ve seen your colleagues break the law or commit fraud, and instead of being listened to you’ve been punished.

You may want to ‘blow the whistle’

Not everything you raise with your employer amounts to whistleblowing. To be protected, you must have made a ‘qualifying disclosure’. For example, it must be related to a criminal offence, a breach of legal obligation, a miscarriage of justice, a danger to health and safety, damage to the environment, or the deliberate concealment of one of these acts.

If you’re protected, you have the right not to be dismissed or suffer any other kind of detriment for having blown the whistle. And, unlike some claims, you don’t need any minimum length of service before you are covered. 

If you want to pursue a claim in the employment tribunal, you must do so within three months less one day from the date of any detriment or dismissal. But you would first need to go through Acas early conciliation – so it’s essential you act quickly.

How we can help

We can explain what whistleblowing is and the legal protections you have against being punished or dismissed. If your employer is treating you unfairly for blowing the whistle, we’ll guide you the actions you should take (like raising a formal grievance) and the options available to you after. We’ll:

  • listen to what’s happened
  • explain whether you can blow the whistle
  • advise on what you can do next 
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Meet your experts
Duncan Snook Sq Duncan Snook Duncan joined Which? Legal as an employment law specialist in May 2018. He has over 10 years of experience as an employment solicitor in private practice. See profile
Brendan Donohue Sq Brendan Donohue Brendan joined Which? in 2018 and is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association. He has over 20 years of experience advising on all aspects of employment law. See profile
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