Public Interest Disclosure Order/Protected Disclosure
The Public Interest Disclosure (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 provides protection for an individual who makes a qualifying disclosure (also referred to as whistle blowing) in good faith to their employer or other third party against dismissal or detriment for making the disclosure. A qualifying disclosure is one which in the reasonable belief of the individual tends to show one or more of the following:
- that a criminal offence has been committed, is being committed or is likely to be committed,
- that a person has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with any legal obligation to which he is subject,
- that a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur,
- that the health or safety of any individual has been, is being or is likely to be endangered,
- that the environment has been, is being or is likely to be damaged, or
- that information tending to show any matter falling within any one of the preceding sub-paragraphs has been, is being or is likely to be deliberately concealed.
It is automatically unfair to dismiss an employee or subject them to a detriment for making a protected disclosure.