Whistleblowing: protected disclosures: new cases
WHISTLEBLOWING Case Watson v Hilary Meredith Solicitors Ltd and another UKEAT/0092/20/BA Facts W made protected disclosures to his employer about alleged financial irregularities. He gave notice of his resignation. Negotiations to settle the matter were unsuccessful and W was summarily dismissed. He complained to the ET of detriments for making protected disclosures and automatic unfair dismissal. The ET found that the protected disclosures had not materially affected the dismissal decision, which had been based on W’s conduct after he had made the disclosures. W appealed to the EAT. Decision 1. The appeal was dismissed. 2. It had been open to the ET to find that W’s conduct following the making of the protected disclosures could be severed from the protected disclosures themselves. WHISTLEBLOWING Protected disclosures Case Martin v London Borough of Southwark and The Governing Body of Evelina School EA-2020-000432-JOJ Facts M was a teachers at E School. He had concerns that teachers were working excessive hours. The ET considered a series of emails sent by M to the head teacher and found that they were not a qualifying disclosure because it ed not in the public interest. M appealed to the EAT. Decision 1. The appeal was allowed and the matter remitted to a freshly constituted ET. 2. The ET had not sufficiently analysed whether M reasonably believed that the disclosure was in the public interest and whether that belief was reasonable. 3.A disclosure can be a disclosure of information even when made to a person who already knows that information. 4. M could reasonably believe that the disclosure was made in the public interest even if his motive for making the disclosure was predominantly to advance his interest in not being required to work excessive hours.