Hoppe v Revenue and Customs & Ors EA-2020-000093-RN, EA-2021-000354-RN; EA-2021-000684-RN; EA-2021-000685-RN; EA-2021-000692-RN; EA-2021-000693-RN; EA-2021-000694-RN

Appeal against various decisions involving detrimental treatment and protected disclosures. Most of the appeals were dismissed except for three relating to detrimental treatment on the grounds of protected disclosures.

The proceedings in the employment tribunal are ongoing. The claimant is a former civil servant and employee of HMRC who was dismissed on the given ground of conduct. Over a period of years, before and after the dismissal, he presented a number of claims to the employment tribunal. His complaints included that he was subjected to detrimental treatment, and unfairly dismissed, for having made protected disclosures. He also alleged various wrongdoing in relation to an application made by him following dismissal for civil service injury benefit in relation to ill health. His case is that his ill health has been caused by his wrongful treatment by HMRC. The claims were and are disputed and defended. A number of decisions of the tribunal were the subject of appeals to the EAT. The following matters were considered at the hearing in the EAT giving rise to the present decision.

(1) The tribunal struck out 18 complaints of detrimental treatment on grounds of protected disclosures. This was the full hearing of the appeal against that decision. The tribunal was entitled to strike out 15 of the detriments. But it erred in relation to three of them, which should be considered at the full merits hearing alongside the complaints of unfair dismissal for having made protected disclosures and ordinary unfair dismissal.

(2) The tribunal struck out complaints against MyCSP, Health Management Limited and the Minister for the Civil Service. This was the full appeal hearing in respect of that decision. The complaints against each of those respondents were sustainable only on the basis that they acted as agents of HMRC in respect of the matters alleged against them. The tribunal was not wrong to conclude that there was no reasonable prospect of that being shown.

(3) There was a challenge to the partial refusal of a disclosure application. That was not reasonably arguable, and was not permitted to proceed to a full appeal hearing.

(4) In another decision the tribunal had determined that the Cabinet Office and Health Assured Limited were not agents of HMRC in respect of the matters alleged against them. The EAT refused to extend time in respect of an out-of-time appeal against that decision.

(5) An appeal against a refusal by the tribunal to reconsider that same decision of the tribunal had no reasonable prospect of success and was not permitted to proceed to a full hearing.

(6) Appeals against case management decisions taken in respect of the remaining live complaints against HMRC were not arguable and were not permitted to proceed to a full hearing.


Published: 14/10/2021 12:34

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