Whistleblower given permission to bring victimisation claim against former employer

An employee who alleged she was victimised because she was a whistleblower was given permission yesterday to pursue her compensation claim even though the events took place after she had left her job.

Three judges in the Court of Appeal ruled that the Employment Rights Act protected former employees against victimisation if they made “protected disclosures”, reports The Financial Times.

“It simply makes no sense at all to protect the current employee but not the former employee, especially since the frequent response of the embittered, exposed employer may well be dismissal and a determination to make life impossible for the ‘nasty little sneak’ for as long thereafter as he can,” said Lord Justice Ward.

The case involves Diana Woodward, who was head of financial institutions at Abbey National’s treasury services unit between 1991 and 1994, when she was made redundant.

She brought a sex discrimination claim against her employer, which was settled without any admission of liability.

But in 2003, Woodward complained again to an employment tribunal. She alleged victimisation, saying she had been “obliged to voice her concerns on regular occasions” about the way Abbey National was handling institutional investors’ funds, and then suffered in terms of references and job prospects after her job with the organisation ended.

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