If you become aware of serious wrongdoing by your employer or within your employer’s organisation, you’re protected from any disciplinary or other retaliatory action if you tell someone about the wrongdoing (often called “whistle-blowing”). There are rules, however, about who you can tell.
The protections for whistle-blowers also cover volunteers and members of boards, not just employees.
You’ll be protected under the Protected Disclosures Act if:
Serious wrongdoing includes:
Usually you must disclose the information in the way that’s required by your employer’s internal procedures.
In some cases, however, you can disclose the information to an appropriate authority outside your employer’s organisation, such as the police, the Serious Fraud Office, a government Minister, or the Ombudsmen. You can do this if you believe, on reasonable grounds:
Note: All public-sector organisations must have a procedure for disclosing information.
If you’ve disclosed information under the Protected Disclosures Act and your employer takes retaliatory action against you, such as dismissing you, you can bring a personal grievance against them for unjustified dismissal or unjustified action (see “Personal grievances” in the chapter “Resolving employment problems”).
You’re also protected against any criminal charges, civil court action or disciplinary proceedings being taken against you.
Your identity must also be kept confidential by the people you disclose the information to, except in certain cases.