Whistleblowing Law Update

There have been 2 recent decisions from the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) on the area of whistleblowing and the Public Interest Disclosure Act.

In Day v Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust [2016] IRLR 415, the EAT held that where an individual makes a disclosure to an organisation that is neither their employer and nor could they be classified as a worker within the organisation, then they are not protected against detriment caused by that organisation. This is because the EAT affirmed that the Public Interest Disclosure Act only protects either employees or those that come within the ambit of the extended definition of ‘worker’ as set out under section 43K of the Act. The Courts, the EAT maintained, have no scope for extending protection beyond that.

In another recent case, Morgan v Royal Mencap Society [2016] IRLR 428, the EAT held that where a person complains about their working conditions, then disclosures in relation to the same could potentially be in the public interest despite the fact that the situation mainly affects the person making the disclosure. The EAT held that whether there is a public interest is a question of fact as to whether the Claimant reasonably believed that disclosure was in the public interest. Accordingly, the EAT ruled in this case that the Judge at first instance was wrong to strike out the claim without hearing the evidence to determine the issue as a question of fact.

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Posted in General Employment Law, whistleblowing and tagged , .