I'VE BEEN VICTIMISED FOR RAISING CONCERNS
Victimisation at work
You could be facing victimisation at work for whistleblowing. It may come from managers or co-workers and it can come in many different forms, from bullying and harassment to dismissal from your job. This section will give you advice on how to deal with this.
All acts of victimisation against whistleblowers are a breach of your employment rights.
We can help you challenge this behaviour and provide advice and information on the whistleblowing law, the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA). We can also provide advice on how to escalate the concerns.
If you have been victimised but it is not connected to whistleblowing, then we will not be able to offer you advice and we recommend that you call one of the other advice bodies found on our referral page.
Bullying and harassment from managers and co-workers
Working out if you are being victimised can sometimes be difficult to judge. You might find yourself in a situation where managers or co-workers are unhappy, disappointed or even angry about your decision to blow the whistle.
A helpful way to think about whether an emotional response to whistleblowing crosses over into victimisation is whether any acts from managers or co-workers makes it difficult for you to do your job. For example, there can be a big difference between not being greeted in the morning and being taken off a key project you were overseeing. We recommend keeping a diary or a timeline of incidents.
There is no formal list of what is considered victimisation but here are some examples:
People we've helped
Felix (not his real name) worked in a care home. He and some of his colleagues believed that a manager was stealing from residents by recording money as being given to particular residents when they had received none…
Things to consider
What is a grievance?
A grievance is making a complaint about something that affects you or your individual employment contract. For example, if your employer doesn’t pay you on time, or if you are demoted unfairly, or given an unreasonable workload.
Putting in a grievance
If informal discussion hasn’t stopped the victimisation then you may need to consider a grievance, which is a more formal process to challenge this behaviour.
Whether you’re challenging managers or co-workers you will need to be more detailed about the link between the concerns you raised, and the victimisation you have suffered.
Spell out the concerns you have witnessed, the date you raised them, who you raised the concerns with and the victimisation that followed from this.
If the grievance is not upheld
You will need to take prompt action to appeal this decision. If the decision is not upheld, then it may lead to an employment tribunal (ET) claim, but there is a strict time limit (three months less one day) from the act of victimisation. We can offer advice on victimisation, but not the finer legal points on the time limits. For this, you will need to contact either your trade union, Law Works, the Citizens Advice or ACAS – their contact details can be found on our referral page.
Defending yourself in a formal process
If you are being disciplined by managers or are facing a grievance launched by co-workers in response to you raising concerns, then here are some things to consider:
The formal process has found against you
This is where a formal employer process such as a disciplinary or grievance has gone against you. Here are some actions to consider taking:
You can email us or call our Advice Line on 020 3117 2520 for support and advice but if you are a trade union member you should also consider contacting them in addition to speaking to us.
When to contact us for advice:
Been dismissed or forced out for raising concerns?
Read our advice on being dismissed, made redundant or forced to resign due to whistleblowing.
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