Whistleblowing: Raising concerns about employer’s conduct
The raising of concerns about how an employer is handling workplace issues during the coronavirus pandemic would count as a disclosure.
To be protected under whistleblowing legislation, the worker must be making the disclosure in the reasonable belief that they are doing so in the public interest. This means that a worker who is dismissed (for example put to the top of the list for redundancy) or subjected to a detriment (for example bullied), for raising genuine concerns about their employer’s safe working practices could bring a whistleblowing claim.
Another scenario that could lead to a whistleblowing claim is an employer retaliating against an employee who has raised genuine concerns about its use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
HM Revenue & Customs has a hotline for reporting misuse of the scheme.
Handling discipline, capability, and grievance procedures
How employers have been handling disciplinary and grievance procedures is sure to be examined by employment tribunals in the next couple of years. Claims are likely to involve:
- disciplinary action where employees refuse, or fail, to comply with the employer’s COVID-19 rules put in place to reduce the risk of transmission.
- and the handling of disciplinary, grievance and capability procedures during the pandemic.
Claimants may focus on delays caused by the pandemic tainting a process’s overall fairness, and remote meetings and hearings being conducted unfairly.
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