Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) s103 ERA


Principle if e/ee loses job cos of disclosing info he is protected from both dismissal – See Accident attorney Abogados

(s103a ERA) and suffering a detriment (s47b ERA) –

a.k.a. Whistleblower’s charter.

 Protection for employees who disclose wrongdoings by their employers to a third

party in specific circumstances.

 Needs to be a qualifying disclosure, ie any disclosure which “in the reasonable belief

of the worker” tends to show one or more of the following:

o A criminal offence

o National security

o Failure to comply with legal oblig

o A miscarriage of justice

o H&S of an individual is endangered

o Environment is being damaged

o Info relating to above is being deliberately concealed.

o Anything where there is a public interest issue

There can be a qualifying disclosure even if employee is wrong, so long as the

employee was reasonably mistaken.


 Disclosure must be made to the appropriate person, ie employer, H&S rep, legal

advisor, inland revenue.

 Must consult the employer/company first,

 Ie, try proper channels first and if they don’t work try an outside body

 cannot disclose to the papers, for example, at the first instance.

 Disclosure must be made in good faith, reasonably believing the info disclosed is

substantially true, which is not made for personal gain.

 Where an employee has made a permitted disclosure and is dismissed for that

reason, then that is automatic UD. No qualifying period of service is needed. No

limits on awards of compo and tribunal can order reinstatement or re-engagement.

It is unlawful to subject an employee who has made a permitted disclosure to any

other detriment. Cannot contract out of PIDA.

Damages if it’s automatically unfair, there is no limit on compensation

Cotterrell Politics of Jurisprudence, Chs. 3 and 4

  • Austin’s main aim was to separate law from other doctrines such as morality or politics, and defined law as “a rule laid down for an intelligent being, by an intelligent being having power over him.” Power and “commands” are at the centre of the Austin/Bentham definition, though Bentham, unlike Austin, was willing to include stipulated rewards as an alternative to sanctions. Austin denied this possibility, since he thought law was to do with commands, and commands are different from incentives. He claimed that nullity was a sanction (to get round the power-conferring problem). Hart’s criticism on the basis that (1) Austin’s single coercive model ignores the variety of laws and (2) ignores the different purpose of laws, as demonstrated by the variety of sanctions, is rejected by Cotterrell on the grounds that Austin was merely seeking to demonstrate characteristics familiar to all laws, NOT claim that all laws serve the same purpose. Laws repealing other ones were not laws in a real sense, since they commanded nothing.

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Harris Legal Philosophies, Ch. 9 (explanation of Hart’s Concept of Law)

  • Hart believed in examining legal concepts by the words used to represent them and how those words were used in ordinary language, inside and outside of the law. Use of words could be sociological evidence for something. From language analysis we discover we deduce sociological information.
  • If a group has a rule, 2 things exist: (1) Members perform/refrain from performing certain actions, and (2) there must be a “critical reflective attitude” shared by the majority towards the action in question. (1) alone would merely be habit. (2) – the internal attitude-can be demonstrated by demands for conformity e.g. normative language such as “you ought to do this”. When the pressure to conform is great, the rule is an “obligation rule”.

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