Important whistleblowing case delayed

The Court of Appeal has delayed its review of what whistleblowing revelations can qualify as being in the public interest.

Whistleblowing legislation was changed in June 2013 to provide that a disclosure is not protected unless the employee reasonably believes that the disclosure is being made ‘in the public interest’.

This change was introduced to prevent workers from using the legislation to make whistleblowing claims in relation to complaints about breaches of their own contracts of employment.

In this important case[1] regarding what qualifies as being ‘in the public interest’, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) set a low bar, ruling that disclosures about accounting malpractices that affected the bonuses and commission of 100 senior managers were made in the reasonable belief that they were in the public interest, and that that was a sufficient section of the public to amount to be ‘in the public interest’.

This decision was appealed and the Court of Appeal was expected to hear the appeal on 11 and 12 October 2016. However, the hearing has been delayed until 2017 (exact date is yet to be confirmed).

This is disappointing news because clarity on this issue is clearly needed.

We will provide an update as to the progression of this case as soon as we hear further details

[1] Case ref: Chesterton Global Ltd v Nurmohamed [2015] IRLR 614 EAT


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