Insights -

Whistleblowing Claims on the Rise

The whistleblowing charity, Protect, recently announced a 23% spike in whistleblowing calls in 2023 compared to 2022. According to sources, 41% of callers to Protect’s Advice Line stated that their whistleblowing concerns were ignored by their employer with 73% saying they were victimised or forced to resign after raising concerns. 

The charity revealed that calls came from a variety of sectors, with the majority from the private sector (42%), and nearly a quarter from each of the public (24%) and charity (23%) sectors. 

It’s perhaps no surprise then that our employment team, have also seen an increase in these matters from both employers and employees in recent months. This may partly be because charities like Protect have worked hard at raising awareness about the protections and rights available around individuals who ‘blow the whistle’ on their employer. 

It may also have something to do with the fact that, in the case of higher earners, a dismissal after disclosing information which amounts to a whistleblowing claim, may entitle the individual to uncapped compensation as opposed to an ordinary unfair dismissal claim where a cap of £105,707 is applied. 

Another potential factor may be a mechanism which, although not common, is unique to whistleblowing claims. It is only available to employees who have just been dismissed and can show that they are “likely” to win their whistleblowing claim. 

This mechanism allows individuals to make an application for interim relief within seven days of a dismissal. If the application is successful, the employer is duty bound to reserve an individual’s employment (at least so far as pay is concerned) until after the tribunal has decided their claim for unfair dismissal. Such an application is difficult to win, but potentially very valuable as the substantive hearing for a case is likely to take place more than a year after the dismissal occurs. 

For individuals concerned around ‘blowing the whistle’ on an employer, it’s important to be aware that you are protected by law if you report any of the following: 

  • A criminal offence, for example fraud.
  • Someone’s health and safety is in danger.
  • Risk or actual damage to the environment.
  • A miscarriage of justice.
  • The company is breaking the law, for example does not have

the right insurance. 

  • You believe someone is covering up wrongdoing.

The list isn’t as long as many expect. It does not include personal grievances, for example bullying, harassment, discrimination, unless the particular case is in the public interest. In addition, the individual has to reasonably believe that they are acting in the public interest in making that disclosure. 

The bar is relatively high, and the legal test is complex. There are also time limits to consider. We strongly encourage anyone with a concern to take advice from an early stage, either by speaking to a charity like Protect or contacting a member of our team for support. 

If you have any questions or would like any further information on the content of this article, please do not hesitate to contact our Employment team, who will be happy to help. 


Although correct at the time of publication, the contents of this newsletter/blog are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute, legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Please contact us for the latest legal position.

Back to listing
Print Share