Case: Timis and another v Osipov
The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision that two non-executive directors (NEDs) were liable for their part in dismissing a whistleblower. NED A instructed NED B to dismiss an employee, which he did. The Court found that these actions constituted unlawful detriment on the ground that the employee had made protected disclosures (or “blown the whistle”), and therefore that the NEDs could be personally liable for post-dismissal losses on a joint and several basis with the employer, which had been found to have unfairly dismissed the employee by reason of whistleblowing.
This decision makes the scheme of protection for whistleblowers as effective as that for victims of other kinds of unlawful discrimination and victimisation. Employers should therefore use workplace training to highlight to managers, employees and other workers this potential extra personal liability.