Oxford Said Business School v Heslop EA-2021-000268-VP

Appeal against a liability decision in favour of the Claimant (a) that she had been subjected to a number of detriments “on the grounds of” protected disclosures, and (b) that she had been constructively and unfairly dismissed. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant took her doctorate at the University of Oxford and then enjoyed a distinguished career before taking up appointment with the First Respondent, the Oxford Said Business School (OSBS) as Director of Custom Programmes with effect from 1 January 2016. The Claimant resigned after a meeting at which the Respondent said that “things were not working”, “serious complaints had been made”, and the Claimant “had lost the trust and confidence” of a “significant proportion” of her senior team. The Claimant won her claim of unfair constructive dismissal and being subject to various detriments on the grounds of having made protected disclosures concerned with what the Claimant reasonably believed to be breaches of OSBS’s legal obligations to the Cabinet Office. The Respondent appealed.

The EAT dismissed the appeal. The ET applied the correct legal test of causation in a claim for detriments suffered during employment on the grounds of protected disclosures and reached decisions on these points which were open to it on the evidence. The ET’s decision, on the stricter test of causation applied to whether a dismissal was automatically unfair, was not inconsistent with those earlier decisions. The ET’s decision on constructive dismissal was adequately and correctly reasoned, bearing in mind the issues and the facts in the case. DPP Law v Greenberg [2021] EWCA Civ 672 applied.


Published: 29/11/2021 10:59

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