Whistleblowers do not need expressly to identify in their disclosure the specific type of legal wrongdoing alleged in order to be protected from detriment or dismissal.

The key issues are what information has been disclosed, whether the claimant believes this information tends to show one of the listed categories of wrongdoing (such as breach of a legal obligation or danger to health and safety), and whether that belief is reasonable. In Twist DX Ltd v Armes the EAT ruled that the extent to which the specific type of wrongdoing is identified in or obvious from the disclosure may be relevant evidence in determining what the claimant believes and whether the belief is reasonable, but it is not a prerequisite for protection.

It was at least arguable that a research scientist’s email referring to concerns about contamination and unreliable test results, along with a reference to possible regulatory risks, might be sufficient without needing to identify the particular regulatory requirements concerned, and therefore that part of the claim should not have been struck out.

Anna Henderson
Anna Henderson
Professional Support Consultant, Employment, London
+44 20 7466 2819