Employment Law – Victimisation – Whistle-Blowers


  The recent case of Elstone and another v BP Plc [2010] involved a determination on alleged victimisation suffered by an employee. The proceedings in this case concerned a single issue of law:


§  The scope of protection provided to individuals who make disclosures in which there was a public interest.


The central issue deliberated over by the court was whether under s.47B of the Employment Rights Act 1996 a claimant could make a claim to have suffered detriment by the actions of his employer in respect of a protected disclosure which had been made at a time when he had been neither an employee nor a worker of that particular employer.

The court held that the wording of the legislation provided that the individual’s action which is protected can relate to the individual’s current employment, even in the event that the individual’s action took place prior to being an employee of the employer in question. The hostile action carried out by a current employer (for example the victimisation in this case) can be deemed to be inspired by the individual’s previous action carried out at an earlier time at which the individual was then of worker status, regardless of whoever his employer was at the time.

This decision was meant to be a purposive approach to the statutory provisions, so as to help protect whistle-blowers from later retribution by an employer in question.

A further question was whether there was any implied restriction of the expression 'worker' and 'employer' in s.43A and s.43B in this respect. The court held that there was no such implied restriction.

If you require further information please contact us at enquiries@rtcooperssolicitors.com or visit one of the following pages:

§   http://www.rtcoopers.com/practice_employment.php

§   http://www.rtcoopers.com/faq-redundancyemployee.php

§   http://www.employmentlawyersinlondon.com/video.php

§   http://www.employmentlawyersinlondon.com

§   http://www.adviceoncompromiseagreements.com .


© RT COOPERS, 2010. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.


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