McDermott v Sellafield Ltd & Ors [2023] EAT 60

Appeal concerning liability and costs where an employee had been dismissed but claimed it was as a result of undertaking a protected act.

Following allegations of sexual harassment in HR team of the respondent, the claimant, a consultant specialising in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), was asked to create focus groups to determine whether there was any evidence to back the claims. Her report concluded that the team was dysfunctional but the team claimed the report was unbalanced and the claimant's contract was terminated. She issued proceedings in the ET who found the claimant's actions were not a protected act and awarded costs in favour of the respondents.

This appeal against the liability decision failed as HHJ Auerbach concluded that the ET had properly found the claimant’s report, though critical of the third respondent, and the HR team’s leadership, was not a protected act or a protected disclosure as alleged. However, the costs were found to be unsafe as some points on liability had been successful and taking into account the reasoning and contents of those decisions.

Published: 31/05/2023 10:29

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