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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47615
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I made a protected disclosure and was terminated for it.

Customer Question

I made a protected disclosure and was terminated for it. I reported to the corporate compliance officer that my manager was putting such demands on his workers that they would work off hours and not record it, and would not be paid for it. I know this is happening, but I'm not willing to name other people. Is it illegal for an employer to demand the impossible (i.e. that this must be done in X number of hours)? I'm involved in an Employment Tribunal. If I am able to persuade other employees to come forward, does this put it more in the realm of a disclosue in the 'public interest'
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. can you tell me how long you were with your employer please
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was employed for 3 months. But as you know length of employment does not apply to whistleblowing cases. And my ET has been accepted.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Can you please clarify on what grounds do you believe the protected disclosure was made. The accepted grounds are here: https://www.gov.uk/whistleblowing/overview

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Systematic underreporting of hours worked translates directly into underreporting of taxes due to the HMRC, and this is reportable to the HMRC, and therefore a disclosure in the public interest.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Ok thank you. Employers need to act reasonably when they are making requests of their employees, such as when setting targets, making requests for work to be completed and so on. However, this is not linked to the protected disclosure and would be a matter of reasonableness and something that could amount to a breach of trust and confidence, which is a separate issue that the affected employees can pursue, for example under a constructive dismissal claim. However, it is not a reason to try and claim that you have made a protected disclosure. That is not really an issue because you have other reasons to argue that a protected disclosure had been made.

In terms of the public interest requirement to make a claim for whistleblowing, the law does not actually stipulate what one needs to show to meet the requirement of making a disclosure in the public interest. Since this requirement was only introduced last year, there is little case law to rely on in order to show what examples fall within the realm of being in the public interest and this is still very much a test area in law. What is required of you is to show that you had a reasonable belief that the disclosure you were making was in the public interest, rather than for you having to show it definitely was made in the public interest.

I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello Sean, please let me know if I have answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thank you

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