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£2m ruling for whistleblow dismissal and directors held personally liable

By November 1, 2018July 2nd, 2019Case Review
Whistleblowing | Unfair Dismissal | HR Solutions

In 2017 International Petroleum Ltd (IPL) appealed the tribunal decision which found that their Chief Executive had been unfairly dismissed for making protected disclosures about the business’ operations and contracts which were awarded in West Africa. The Chief Executive had several disagreements with the company Chairman and one of the largest shareholders about his concerns.

Tribunal award

The tribunal had awarded £1.7million for automatic unfair dismissal and victimisation (on the grounds that he was a whistleblower) but after this went to appeal, the award was increased to £2million – one of the largest awards ever given.

Employment appeal tribunal

IPL took this to the Court of Appeal, and it has recently been announced that the appeal was dismissed, as the judges unanimously upheld the ruling made by the Employment Appeal Tribunal. In doing so, the principle of individual liability (as well as corporate liability) for victimising whistleblowers has been significantly bolstered.

Whistleblowers and protected disclosures

This forces employers to take their personal responsibilities toward the treatment of employees seriously when it comes to making decisions concerning whistleblowers. Training line managers on how to recognise and handle protected disclosures properly is going to be vital when it comes to minimising risk in this area.

Further HR guidance

HR Solutions are experts when it comes to HR related issues and employee management.  For HR advice and support, call us on 0844 324 5840 or contact us online to find out how we can help.

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