University Hospital North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust v Fairhall (WHISTLEBLOWING, PROTECTED DISCLOSURES) [2021] UKEAT 0150/20/3006

Appeal against successful claims of unfair dismissal (by reason of having made protected disclosures), wrongful dismissal and detriment done on the grounds of having made protected disclosures. Appeal allowed in part.

The Claimant instigated the Respondent's formal whistleblowing procedure after concerns were raised about patient care following the death of a patient. She was suspended, her conduct investigated, her grievance dismissed and was eventually dismissed from her post. Her appeal against the dismissal was rejected. The ET considered that the Claimant's treatment was not only grossly unfair, but was the culmination of a process, involving numerous people, designed to get rid of her because she had made protected disclosures. The ET found that the claimant had been dismissed for the reason, or principle reason, that she had made protected disclosures. The Respondent appealed.

The EAT dismissed the appeal against the protected disclosure dismissal claim. It was found as fact that the reason, or principle reason, of the disciplinary hearing panel for dismissing the Claimant was her making protected disclosures. The ET properly considered the reasoning process of the chair of the panel, the only witness called by the Respondent to explain the reasoning process of the panel. However, the EAT found that the pre-dismissal detriment claims had not been considered in enough detail and therefore not Meek compliant. They were remitted to the ET for further consideration.

Published: 19/07/2021 10:14

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