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Employment law

Common problems when whistleblowing

If you’re at work and you see dangerous or illegal activity you might want to report it. But many of us wouldn’t blow the whistle in work. Why is this?

10 September 2015

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People often are too scared to report their concerns about the wrongs they have witnessed at work. So rather than blowing the whistle, many people elect to just turn a blind eye for fear of how reporting any wrongdoing might impact upon their career.

Why are employees concerned about whistleblowing?

It’s a dilemma. Common worries about whistleblowing for workers in the UK include a fear of losing your job, being mistreated by colleagues as a result and not being listened to or believed in the first place. Sadly, some of these concerns are valid.

The results from our survey showed that over half of whistleblowers in the UK were treated differently at work after they raised their concerns and a third of them felt isolated following raising a concern. One in 10 workers were either fired or made redundant as a result of blowing the whistle. No wonder people are afraid of losing their job if they come forward and make a disclosure. But the law is there to protect you in this situation. Taking advice from a specialist lawyer can help you blow the whistle more safely, with a better bargaining position.

How can a whistleblowing lawyer help?

Often people do not know the legal protection you can get when blowing the whistle, or how a whistleblowing lawyer can help you to maximise that protection when you make a disclosure.

Employees can benefit from the practical advice an employment lawyer can offer on how to raise a concern that is of public interest whilst protecting themselves against reprisals and avoiding difficulties at work. These vary from workplace to workplace, but for example, 27% of whistleblowers reported being shut out by colleagues after they raised a concern.

Our survey revealed that 30% of employees suffered constant criticism from their boss after blowing the whistle and that as many as 48% of people were made to feel unwelcome.

It is important to remember that if this happens to you it is best to seek advice as soon as possible because strict time limits apply to making a claim (usually three months after receiving the unfair treatment).

The employment solicitors at Slater and Gordon have award-winning whistleblowing expertise. If you are in need of legal advice on whistleblowing call us on 0161 830 9632 for an initial consultation or contact us online.

All the above information was correct at the time of publication.

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