Tribunal ruling clarifies whistleblowing regulations

Disgruntled ex-employees who make speculative claims against their former
employers using whistleblowing rules are increasingly likely to fail after a
recent legal decision.

The case involved an HR professional whose contract was terminated after
only two days in the job, when the company employing him said it did not have
sufficient confidence he could handle the assignment effectively.

Paul Kraus claimed he was dismissed after warning the company that its plans
to make staff redundant would contravene its legal obligations. But a tribunal
struck out his claim, ruling it was misconceived. A subsequent appeal upheld
the decision.

The case was brought under the Public Interest Disclosure Act, which is
designed to protect whistleblowers who report dishonest employers. Few claims
are made under the Act – and even fewer come before the Employment Appeal

The tribunal clarified that a disclosure had been made under the Whistleblowing
Act, but rejected claims that the company’s redundancy plans would breach legal

Rob Riley, employment partner at Addleshaw Goddard, said the case helped
clarify the meaning of the regulations and would help prevent false claims being
used against firms in the future.

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