Whistleblower Tony Goode, who was dismissed by Marks & Spencer (M&S) after telling the media about planned redundancy pay cuts, is claiming the sacking breached his human rights.
The case is being held this week at the London Central Tribunal where Goode is being backed by his union, the GMB. Its legal officer Maria Ludkin said: “The GMB will contend that the sacking of Tony Goode, who had an unblemished record, by M&S was unfair and in breach of his human rights.
“He opposed the cuts in redundancy pay and for that he was summarily dismissed. GMB will claim that M&S is in breach of the Human Rights Act with this sacking.”
An M&S spokesman said: “Tony Goode deliberately leaked internal company information and made derogatory and speculative comments to the media. He did this despite there being a variety of other internal routes available to address his concerns, and very clear guidance on the handling of internal information.”
The GMB said Goode, a single parent of two children, has been left “penniless”.
Employment lawyer Mark Leach, a partner at Weightmans, said the case would be “anything but straightforward.”
He said he didn’t think that the GMB and Goode would be able to rely directly on the Human Rights Act, but may be able to link it to provisions in the Employment Rights Act, especially those concerning protected disclosure and detriment, which relate to whistleblowing.
Goode was dismissed last September from his £44,000-a-year job as a customer loyalty manager. In particular, he was concerned that M&S planned to reduce its redundancy payments for long servers from a maximum of 72 weeks to 52. The company later set the cap at 62 weeks.