Whistleblowing claims can be attractive to employees as they are not subject to any length of service criteria, there is no cap on compensation, and there is also potential for negative publicity to put pressure on employers to agree a settlement. As a result, the law has increasingly been used in circumstances which were not foreseen when the legislation came into force. For example, claims have been brought by employees seeking to rely on disclosures of alleged breaches of their own employment contracts.
It is difficult to see the element of 'public interest' in many such claims. Accordingly, the Government has now decided to amend the Employment Rights Act in order to limit the potential for them. However, it is far from clear that the proposed amendment achieves what it set out to.
DLA Piper outlines the Government proposals which, taken together with recent case law, may cause significant headaches for employers.
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