The Court of Appeal has given a fairly wide interpretation of who can be liable for whistleblowing as an ’employer’.
Whistleblowing protection includes workers, not just employees, but also ‘workers’ is given a wider meaning than normal for the purpose of the whistleblowing legislation.
The Court of Appeal had to interpret this extended definition of worker in Day v Health Education England (bailii.org). It held that Health Education England could be an ’employer’ of a trainee doctor for whistleblowing purposes (as well as the NHS Trust which actually employed him) if the terms on which he was engaged were substantially determined by it. This might be so even if the Trust played the greater role in determining the terms. The case was sent back to an employment tribunal to decide whether Health Education England sufficiently determined the terms.
Also the government has issued a consultation document with draft regulations to protect applicants for NHS jobs from discrimination in respect of whistleblowing www.gov.uk/government/consultations/protecting-whistleblowers-seeking-jobs-in-the-nhs