Blowing the whistle can be the weapon of choice for senior executives as part of their exit strategy particularly if they do not have a discrimination card to play. Once they make a qualifying protected disclosure they acquire the right not to be subjected to any detriment for making that disclosure and any dismissal for doing so will be automatically unfair. Additionally the two year length of service requirement does not apply and any compensation awarded is not subject to the statutory cap.
In June 2013 changes were made to the test for a qualifying disclosure in the Employment Rights Act 1996, including a new requirement that a worker must reasonably believe that their disclosure was ‘in the public interest’. This new public interest requirement was introduced to close a loophole created by the case of Parkins v Sodexho under which workers were able to allege that their disclosure was protected under whistleblowing legislation, even though it related to their own personal employment contract.