Whistleblowing is the commonly used term for a worker reporting suspected wrongdoing at their workplace, although the official term is ‘making a disclosure in the public interest’. It can be very difficult to speak up if you have discovered dangerous or illegal wrongdoing at your place of employment, however, if you fail to do so you could be seen as a complicit if you are aware of such activities and do not bring them to the attention of your employer. If you have any concerns regarding the behaviour of your colleague(s), or anyone else within the company, it is important that you raise those concerns with a person of authority, and you should never be penalised for doing so. If you have previously raised such concerns and have since been treated differently at your workplace, or even dismissed as a result, you may have a case for initiating legal action against your employer.
If you have any concerns regarding potential wrongdoing you should first attempt to let your employer know as they may have an official whistleblowing procedure. If you are unable to approach an employer you can contact a ‘prescribed person or body’. A worker can report any issues that he or she feels are causing damage to the environment, health and safety issues that put anyone in danger, criminal offences, the company not obeying the law in any way, or any other covering up of wrongdoing. If, as result, you have been penalised for bringing to light a situation where any of these criteria are met, you will be protected by law. Employees, agency workers, people that are in training with an employer but not employed, and self-employed workers whether they are supervised or working off-site are all protected by this law.