A Global Approach to Public Interest Disclosure
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A Global Approach to Public Interest Disclosure

What Can We Learn from Existing Whistleblowing Legislation and Research?

Edited by David B. Lewis

This timely and important book assesses the impact of legislation on public interest disclosures internationally, as well as setting an agenda for future research on whistleblowing.
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Chapter 2: Ten Years of Employment Protection for Whistleblowers in the UK: A View from the Employment Appeal Tribunal

Jeremy McMullen


His Honour Judge Jeremy McMullen QC1 The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) offices in both London and Edinburgh provide us with a constantly changing view of people at work. What follows is a reflection from these vantage points on some of the important issues raised by the introduction of public interest disclosure law in the UK. I will concentrate on practice at the expense of black letter exegesis which can be found elsewhere (see Bowers et al., 2007; Lewis, 2008). In terms of context, there have been more and more Employment Tribunal and EAT hearings on a trio of statutory measures which deal with the disclosure and non-disclosure of information, namely the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The number of cases brought to employment tribunals in Great Britain in 2006–07 rose by 15 per cent, from 115 039 in 2005–06 to 132 577. The total number of complaints ‘accepted’ increased by 18 per cent to 238 546. A single claim can include complaints relating to a number of jurisdictions so the number is roughly two for one. The number of cases disposed of during 2006–07 also rose, by 19 per cent, from 86 083 to 102 597. There was an increase of 26 per cent in multiple cases and a 3 per cent rise in single cases in 2006–07, that is, claims against the same employer. Multiple cases now make up 60 per cent of...

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