Whistleblowing

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Keeping it real – the quest for reason in whistleblowing cases (UK)

In earlier posts on this blog you will find a handful of cases which consider the distinction between the fact of a protected whistle-blowing disclosure and the manner of it.  Accepted wisdom, thanks in part to the unimprovable words of then Mr Justice Underhill in Martin -v-Devonshires Solicitors here is that an employer can in … Continue Reading

Implementation of the EU Whistleblowing Directive in Germany: latest position

As per our previous blog post, very few members of the European Union managed to implement the provisions of the Whistleblowing Directive into their national legislation before the 17 December 2021 deadline for compliance. Germany is one of the countries that failed to meet the deadline, but as in a number of other EU countries, … Continue Reading

Implementation of the EU Whistleblowing Directive in France: latest position

France already has fairly extensive legislative protection in place for whistleblowers under its “Sapin II” law, with certain private and public organisations required to operate whistleblowing schemes, but the scope of this protection is being expanded to ensure compliance with the EU Whistleblowing Directive. Legislation to that effect was supposed to go live in each … Continue Reading

Implementation of the EU Whistleblowing Directive in Spain: latest position

In our latest update on how the EU Whistleblowing Directive is being implemented across Europe, we focus on recent developments in Spain. Whistleblowers in Spain currently have very little legislative protection, with existing provisions limited to certain types of complaint (e.g. money laundering) and certain sectors (e.g. financial institutions).  To comply with the much broader … Continue Reading

Summer State/Local Law Round-Up, Part 2 of 2: Ohio through West Virginia (US)

In our post earlier this week, we covered recent developments in state and local labor and employment laws in the states at the beginning at the alphabet. We now turn our attention to developments in the remaining states.… Continue Reading

Looking into workplace investigations, Part 6 – preparing the statutory defence (UK)

Once you have done all the scoping out and refining of allegations you can before starting your investigation, there will come the point where you have to raise the allegations made with the people they are made against. If the allegations are false, those people will be very angry.  If they are true, they will … Continue Reading

Looking into workplace investigations, part 4 – respecting the rights of bullies and harrassers (UK)

When drawing up your preliminary note of what you need to know as the product of your investigation, remember that the people being investigated have rights too.  Some we will come to later in this series, including confidentiality and a fair process, but the first and most fundamental part of a fair “trial” is knowing … Continue Reading

Looking into workplace investigations, Part 1 – what are you talking about? (UK)

Today we start a new series of posts tackling the vexed area of workplace investigations.  We will look at the background law, of which there is very little, and at best practice guidance, of which there is more than can possibly all be useful.  We will offer some examples of investigations done badly and consider … Continue Reading

Grievances and punishment – Is it enough to succeed, or must others fail? (UK)

If you look for the statutory source of the ordinary right to bring a workplace grievance, you may be gone some time.  It arose initially as a by-product of the implied duty of trust and confidence, and formally bubbled to the surface in WA Gould (Pearmak) Limited – v – McConnell in 1995.  There the … Continue Reading

“There are only two ways of telling the complete truth – anonymously and posthumously” (UK)

That was according to a US economist, Thomas Sowell, but it also came up at a recent webinar we did on whistle-blowing and grievance investigations.  We were talking about limits on the employer’s ability to use evidence from witnesses whose identities would not be disclosed to the person accused.  The short point was that to … Continue Reading

Dancing to the EU’s tune – why its Whistleblowing Directive may still affect you (UK)

The 27 remaining EU member states have until 17 December this year in which to introduce domestic legislation implementing the Whistleblowing Directive from 2019.  With scarcely four months to go, how are things going? Very slowly in most cases, it seems.  No doubt Covid has taken parliamentary time and resource away from this issue across the … Continue Reading

Whistleblowing webinar questions, Part 2 – interim relief (UK)

In our webinar last week we touched on the existence of a largely unique remedy for whistleblowing dismissals, the concept of interim relief, more recently and lucidly known as a contract continuation order (“CCO”).  Time did not permit a full rehearsal of the ins and outs of this potentially devastating employee tool, so here is … Continue Reading

2020’s parting gift to UK employers – you really shouldn’t have

It is easy to dismiss some EAT decisions as a storm in a teacup, legally-speaking, all very traumatic for those bobbing about in them, but of little significance to the wider world of employment law or practice. Steer – v – Stormsure Limited earlier this month is not one of those decisions. It has the … Continue Reading

Post-lockdown working, Part 4 – whistleblowing for beginners (UK)

On top of the flexible working rules (see Parts 1-3), another piece of existing law likely to get a pandemic-related dusting-off in the months to come is our old friend whistleblowing. If you face what is otherwise a fairly clear redundancy situation because Covid-19 has gutted your employer’s market, what better way of upping the … Continue Reading

Careless talk, costs, lies: EAT upholds £170,000 costs award (UK)

It’s all about the numbers in Brooks -v- Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, a new case on when an Employment Tribunal can order costs against an unsuccessful participant – 18 alleged protected disclosures, 40 detriments, a 27-day hearing, a witness statement of 214 pages and over a thousand paragraphs and a hearing bundle of well … Continue Reading
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