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8 January 2018 | Comment | Article by Louise Price

Whistleblowing


A worker is protected from detriment or dismissal under UK Whistleblowing laws if they disclose information in the reasonable belief that it is made in the public interest and that it shows certain types of wrongdoing have taken place, or will take place.

Ms Parsons was a legal compliance officer who made various disclosures to her employer. She was later dismissed for being a ‘cultural misfit’ and argued that her dismissal was automatically unfair for whistleblowing. The employment tribunal and EAT both held that her disclosures were purely out of self-interest, rather than having been made in the public interest. It was Ms Parson’s conduct which was the reason for her dismissal. Her employer was not concerned about the substance of her disclosures, but instead what she did afterwards. She didn’t give clear rational reasons for her beliefs. She was irrationally fixated on her own personal liability. She was unable to listen or take on board what her colleagues had to say.

It is clear from previous cases however, that a disclosure can still be legally protected if it is partly made in self-interest, as long as the employee also had a reasonable belief that he or she was making it in the public interest as well.

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Author bio

A highly specialised lawyer, Louise is a Partner and Head of Employment and HR services. Her expertise includes corporate support work, TUPE, pensions and employee benefits advice. She regularly advises private, public and third sector clients regarding large scale TUPE transfers of staff including drafting indemnities and warranties, advising on potential employment and pension liabilities, information and consultation obligations, and providing best value guidance.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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