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Stop banging on…

17 April 2014

It can be frustrating when an employee raises a concern but continues to dogmatically pursue it even when the matter has concluded. But if the employee was ‘blowing the whistle’ any disciplinary action taken as a result could result in a detriment claim under section 47B of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

This was exactly the case in Panayiotou v Kernaghan. The Tribunal found that the claimant had raised a protected disclosure but would not accept any answer and continued to pursue the matter. As a result, the claimant became unmanageable and was dismissed. However, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that the reason for the dismissal was the manner in which the claimant had pursued his complaints and that this was distinct from the protected disclosure. Therefore his claim failed.

The lesson to be learnt is that if you are disciplining an employee in these circumstances make it clear it is the manner of the disclosure, and not the disclosure itself, that is the act of misconduct.

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