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I’m bringing legal action and I’m looking for help


How can Protect help you?

Protect is an independent charity offering free and confidential advice to individuals who witness wrongdoing in their workplace and are unsure how or whether to raise their concerns. We also offer advice on the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA), the law that protects workplace whistleblowers if they are victimised because they raise their concerns. We do not undertake litigation (i.e. acting as your representatives to run your legal claim through the Employment Tribunal) and we do not provide advocacy services (representing you at hearings).

Our Advisers can explain your legal rights under PIDA and advise on how the law may apply to your case, which may help you to determine whether or not to bring a claim. As we do not offer legal representation ourselves, we recommend that you look for legal support elsewhere:

  • If you are a member of a union, then you should speak to your union representative about possible legal support with your claim
  • If you have home insurance, then you can check this for legal expenses cover
  • If you can afford legal representation, then the Law Society website has a helpful tool for finding a solicitor to assist with your claim
  • If you cannot afford legal representation, you can look on the LawWorks website to find your local free legal advice clinic offering employment law advice
  • If you are a litigant in person and you have a claim being heard in London Central, Bristol, Cardiff, Midlands West, Leeds or Newcastle Employment Tribunals, you may be able to get practical support with your claim from the local Employment Tribunal Litigant in Person Support Scheme (ELIPS)

If you've signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)

The law does not allow individuals to be gagged from raising whistleblowing concerns after they have signed a settlement agreement. If this situation applies to you then check our webpage on breach of confidentiality and seek further advice from our Advice Line by calling 020 3117 2520 or contact us via our contact form.

Considering a settlement agreement

You may wish to consider a settlement agreement rather than taking your claim to Employment Tribunal. In a settlement agreement, you agree to no longer pursue your claims at the Employment Tribunal and instead, resolve your dispute by coming to a legal compensatory agreement with your employer. For example, your employer might promise to pay you a sum of money, stop treating you unlawfully, or both and things such as references can sometimes be agreed.

Going to Employment Tribunal can be a long, stressful and sometimes expensive process. Settlements may be a preferable option, particularly if you are worried that you might struggle to get legal representation, that the stress of bringing legal proceedings is likely to be too great, or that you might be entitled to little compensation because e.g. you have not been employed for a long time, you will not be out of work for a long time, or the detriment you suffered was not ongoing.

You can contact the specialist charity YESS Law who, for a means-tested fee, can help individuals negotiate settlements.

If you have been offered a settlement agreement please see our webpage on settlement agreements here.

Non-legal support

If you are a litigant in person and you are looking for practical, rather than legal, support with the Tribunal process then you may wish to contact Support Through Court which operates throughout England and Wales.

If you are a litigant in person and you have a claim being heard in London Central, Bristol, Cardiff, Midlands West, Leeds or Newcastle Employment Tribunals, you may be able to get practical support with your claim from the local Employment Tribunal Litigant in Person Support Scheme (ELIPS)

Bringing an Employment Tribunal claim

If you are thinking about bringing a claim to Employment Tribunal, you should be aware of the strict time limits to do so. You have 3 months less one day from the last date of detriment, or the effective date of dismissal, to lodge your claim. You can do this by contacting ACAS. We also have more information on how to fill an ET1 form. For further information on the types of whistleblowing claims available, please see our webpages on victimisation and dismissal claims.

A worker suffers a detriment if a reasonable worker would or might take the view that they have been disadvantaged in the circumstances in which they had to work. An “unjustified sense of grievance” is not enough.

If you are bringing an Interim Relief claim, you have 7 days from the date of dismissal to do so. You can find out more about Interim Relief claims and whether you are eligible to bring one on our dedicated webpage. You can also contact ACAS or our Advice Line.

Do keep in mind that the purpose a legal claim against your employer is to determine whether you are owed financial compensation for their conduct towards you. An Employment Tribunal will not make a ruling on whether your whistleblowing concerns are correct, nor do they have the powers to force the employer to address the whistleblowing concerns. To find out what steps can be taken to make sure the concerns are resolved, please see our advice on escalating concerns. 

We're here to help

If you are unsure about the process of bringing a whistleblowing claim, or you want to discuss any of the above in relation to your specific case, please contact our Advice Line by calling 020 3117 2520 or by email.