Babula v Waltham Forest College: CA 7 Mar 2007

The claimant said his dismissal had been automatically unfair under section 106(a) which protected him as a whistleblower. The court was asked whether any disclosure had to relate to an actual criminal offence, or otherwise what would be sufficient. The claimant had reported a failure by the college to act on reports that another lecturer had allegedly incited racial hatred.
Held: It was not necessary for the complainant to prove that criminal or civil wrongdoing had occurred. Whilst the result in Kraus was correct on its facts, the reasoning was not correct.
Wall LJ said: ‘it is not permissible, as a matter of construction, to adopt a different interpretation of what is meant by ‘reasonable belief’ when applying that phrase to any of the situations in section 43B(1)(a) to (f). It seems to me that in each of the instances identified in the six subsections, the whistle-blower has to establish a reasonable belief that the information being disclosed ‘tends to show’ one or more of the situations identified in section 43B(1)(a) to (f).’ A belief may be both reasonably held and wrong: ‘the word ‘belief’ in section 43B(1) is plainly subjective. It is the particular belief held by the particular worker. Equally, however, the ‘belief’ must be ‘reasonable’. That is an objective test.’
Thorpe LJ, Thomas LJ, Wall LJ
[2007] EWCA Civ 174, Times 17-Apr-2007
Employment Rights Act 1996 103a
England and Wales
CitedBabula v Waltham Forest College CA 21-Jul-2006
Renewed application for permission to appeal. . .
CitedKraus v Penna Plc and Another EAT 20-Nov-2003
The claimant said that his dismissal was automatically unfair on the basis that he had made a qualifying disclosure.
Held: ‘the worker’s reasonable belief in s.43B(1) relates to the information which he is disclosing and not to the existence . .
CitedBolton School v Evans EAT 7-Feb-2006
EAT Public Interest Disclosure – Protected Disclosure. Employee deliberately broke into computer system to show that his concerns that information might be obtained in breach of the Data Protection Act was . .
CitedDarnton v University of Surrey EAT 11-Dec-2002
The claimant lecturer claimed that his dismissal was unfair after he had written to the principal making allegations of unlawful behaviour. He appealed a finding by the tribunal that since his allegations were not proven, he was not protected.
CitedStreet v Derbyshire Unemployed Workers’ Centre CA 21-Jul-2004
The claimant alleged that she had been dismissed for making qualifying disclosures about her employers. The employer said that her actions had not been in good faith. The claimant answered that her motive was irrelevant. The claimant appealed . .
At EATBabula v Waltham Forest College EAT 31-Mar-2006
EAT Public Interest Disclosure . .
LeaveBabula v Waltham Forest College CA 21-Jul-2006
Renewed application for permission to appeal. . .

Cited by:
CitedBabula v Waltham Forest College CA 21-Jul-2006
Renewed application for permission to appeal. . .
CitedChesterton Global Ltd (t/a Chestertons) and Another v Nurmohamed (Victimisation Discrimination: Whistleblowing) EAT 8-Apr-2015
Protected disclosure
This appeal concerns the meaning of the words ‘in the public interest’ inserted into section 43B(1) of the Employment Rights . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 02 February 2021; Ref: scu.249887