Personal Liability for Whistleblowing Cases

The case of International Petroleum Ltd and ors v Osipov and ors. EAT, 19.7.17 (0058/17) covers a novel point which will be of concern to any director or senior manager involved with disciplinary hearings and who is required to make decisions upon whether to dismiss. The EAT in this case essentially held that the directors who took the decision to dismiss the employee subjected that employee to a detriment for which they were personally liable. Further, they were both held to be jointly liable (along with the employer) for any post-termination loss. The general rule is that only an employer can be liable for an unfair dismissal claim, but this case opens the door in public interest disclosure (or 'Whistle Blowing') cases to personal liability attaching to those individuals involved in the decision making process.

Another good reason to review your policies and procedures to ensure they are water tight.

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