How to complain — letter about treatment during probationary period was a disclosure

In order to establish protection under the whistleblowing legislation, employees first have to show that they have made a ‘qualifying disclosure’: the worker must make a disclosure of information and must reasonably believe that the information disclosed tends to show one of six categories of malpractice by the employer. For disclosures on or after 25 June this year, the worker must also reasonably believe that the disclosure is in the public interest, but Millbank Financial Services Ltd v Crawford was a case about a disclosure made before this change.

There is no definition of ‘information’ but case law has established that it must be more than merely an allegation or a statement of position. The disclosure must actually convey facts (albeit that those facts may be already known to the recipient). The benchmark was set in Cavendish Munro Professional Risks Management Ltd v Geduld where the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that a solicitor’s letter that set out its client’s objections to the way in which his employer had treated him, as well as complaints that he had suffered unfair prejudice as a shareholder, did not amount to a protected disclosure as it was simply a statement of the employee’s position…

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