Guide

Dismissing employees

Whistleblowing and dismissal

Workers who suspect wrongdoing and 'blow the whistle' to disclose these concerns to their employer are protected from dismissal or other negative consequences - as long as certain criteria are met. This law intends to help businesses quickly identify and resolve such problems.

The term 'workers' refers to those who work under:

  • a contract of employment, eg employees
  • some other contract to perform work personally, eg casual workers

It does not cover the genuinely self-employed.

The whistleblowing law also covers NHS practitioners, such as:

  • GPs
  • certain dentists
  • pharmacists
  • opticians

It also covers:

  • agency workers
  • certain categories of trainee
  • those who contract to provide services to a health and social care board
  • those who contract to provide services to a business via their own limited company - even if introduced via an employment agency or employment business
  • student nurses and student midwives who undertake work experience as part of a course of education or training approved by, or under arrangements with, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).