Protections for whistle-blowing

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When is a disclosure protected?

To make a protected disclosure, you must be an employee of the organisation you are making the disclosure about.

Employee includes:

  • former employees
  • homeworkers
  • contractors
  • people seconded to the organisation
  • volunteers.

Your disclosure will be protected if:

  • the information is about serious wrongdoing in or by your workplace
  • you reasonably believe the information is true or likely to be true, and
  • you want the serious wrongdoing to be investigated.

Your disclosure won’t be protected if:

  • you know the allegations are false
  • you act in bad faith, or
  • the information you’re disclosing is subject to legal professional privilege.

How you are protected

No civil, criminal, or disciplinary proceedings can be taken against you for making a protected disclosure or for referring one to an appropriate authority.

If you suffer retaliatory action from your employer for making a protected disclosure, you can take personal grievance proceedings under the Employment Relations Act.

Under the Human Rights Act you can’t be treated less favourably than others in the same or similar circumstances. If you are a whistle-blower who is victimised in this way, you may have legal remedies under the Human Rights Act.

Make a protected disclosure

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