2.1 The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (which amended the Employment Rights Act 1996) provides protection for workers who, in reasonable belief raise matters that they believe to be in the public interest, which tend to show one or more of the following:
- That someone’s health and safety has been, is being, or is likely to be endangered.
- That the environment has been, is being, or is likely to be harmed.
- A criminal offence has been, is being, or is likely to be, committed
- That a person has failed to comply, is not complying or likely not to comply with a legal obligation
- That a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring, or is likely to occur.
- That information tending to show any of the above is being or likely to be deliberately concealed.
These are called ‘qualifying disclosures’ and a worker has the right not to be dismissed or subjected to victimisation because they have made the disclosure. The above does not represent an exhaustive list of areas covered by this Policy.
2.2 The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 further amends Section 43B of the Employment Rights Act 1996 by introducing a ‘public interest test’. A whistleblower must have a reasonable belief that a disclosure is in the public interest.