Everyone believed that the number of whistleblowing claims would rise now The Government has jumped in its Delorian and taken us back to the 80s by introducing the obstacle of 2 years service for anyone thinking of bringing an unfair dismissal claim. Well it seems that they may have slammed shut that door too by introducing the following:
1. A disclosure will be protected only if the worker reasonably believes that it is being made in the public interest. This effectively reverses the ruling in Parkins v Sodexho and means that an employee won’t normally be able to claim whistleblowers’ protection in connection with a breach to their own employment contract. Of course nobody quite knows what 'in the public interest' means quite yet.
2. The disclosure no longer has to be made in good faith (but see item 3 below)
3. If the disclosure was not made in good faith (for example the Tribunal finds it was motivated primarily by money or spite) compensation can be reduced by up to 25%
Coming into force at a later date is the amendment that will allow an employer to be held vicariously liable for a detriment caused by another worker. This reverses the loophole that was exposed in the case of Fecitt v NHS Manchester, where whistle-blowers were victimised by colleagues rather than by their employer and the employer was not vicariously liable for their actions because the employees themselves could not be personally liable.