Whistle-blowing (the Public Interest Disclosure Act)

Under a piece of UK legislation called the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA), Employees and Workers who ‘blow the whistle’ – i.e.make a ‘protected disclosure’ of any wrong-doing in the workplace by their Employer – can complain to an Employment Tribunal if they are:

  • dismissed (or selected for redundancy) or
  • victimised at work in any way

for making such a disclosure. All the details are explained in our article here.

PIDA has a wide definition of what is a ‘protected worker’ which includes most workers and employees plus contractors, homeworkers, trainees and agency workers (including those people who are introduced or supplied by 3rd parties to do work at the employers). In May 2014 the Supreme Court also decided that members of limited liability partnerships are workers and covered under this Act. In August 2016 the Employment Appeal Tribunal found that an agency worker could be a whistle-blower at the hirer’s (who she worked for) in McTigue v University Hospital Bristol NHS Foundation. McTigue made a disclosure about malpractice to the Hospital and then it terminated her agency worker assignment. She claimed this was an unlawful detriment and that she qualified as a whistle-blower and the EAT agreed.

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