• Robert Spicer

Supreme Court Hold LLP Members Are “Workers”

Yesterday (21st May 2014), the Supreme Court ruled that partners of a solicitors’ firm were protected by the whistle-blowing legislation, marking the start of a new era for the first whistle-blowing case against LLP’s.

The Court held that partners were a “worker” for the purposes of employment law legislation. The implications can therefore extend into finance, accounting and legal services due to the LLP structure favoured in these industries.

The decision enables a former Clydes partner to continue pursuing her unfair dismissal case, alongside her sex discrimination by reason of pregnancy claim. This case will now be remitted to the employment tribunal to consider both claims.

It is hoped that the decision will mean that LLPs ensure proper whistle-blowing procedures are in place, which will in turn create greater transparency in the corporate world. We wait to see whether a later Court will extend the definition to “employee”, thereby heightening LLP duties towards their members further.

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