What are my rights under the Public Interest Disclosure Act?

The Act applies to all employees and workers, regardless of their age or length of service, and to union and non-union members. It includes people who are victimised for following internal grievance procedures, as well as those making wider, public disclosures.

  • You must show that you 'reasonably believe' that the issue concerned is likely to endanger the health and safety of any individual worker, or group of workers. It does not matter if your belief later turns out to be wrong, as long as it is genuine and reasonably held.
  • A claim for victimisation must be brought within three months to an employment tribunal.

You are much more likely to succeed in your claim if you use internal grievance procedures or make your disclosure to the official regulator – usually the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or your local authority. See the guidance on the HSE website to find out who is the correct regulator for your workplace.

The Public Interest Disclosure Act strongly discourages disclosure to the media (e.g. newspapers or the radio).

The charity Public Concern at Work runs a helpline for workers who need advice on whistleblowing (tel: 020 7404 6609).

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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