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Non-executive directors personally liable for whistleblower's post dismissal losses

July 27, 2017

 

 The EAT has decided that two non-executive directors were personally liable for the post dismissal losses suffered by the claimant after his dismissal.  One had instructed the other to dismiss the claimant for making protected disclosures and the other duly carried out the dismissal.  Their actions constituted an unlawful detriment on the grounds that the claimant had made a protected disclosure and they were held to be jointly and severally liable with the employer, who the tribunal found had unfairly dismissed the claimant by reason of whistleblowing.

 

The tribunal rejected their argument that they could not be personally liable for the decision to dismiss (and the losses flowing from it) because giving the instruction to dismiss and implementing that instruction could form the basis of a detriment claim.  The case is a warning to employers that employees who have been dismissed can consider bringing a dismissal related claim against both them (as an unfair dismissal claim) and against the individual who carried out the dismissal (as a detriment claim).

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