Chesterton 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 Act 1996 by section17 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. The Respondent was Director of the Mayfair office of the First Appellant, a well-known firm of estate agents. He made three alleged protected disclosures, two to the Area Director for the Central London area and one to the Second Appellant, the First Appellant’s Director of Human Relations. The Respondent stated that he believed the First Appellant was deliberately misstating andpound;2-3million of actual costs and liabilities through the entire office and department network which affected the earnings of 100 senior managers, including himself.
The Employment Tribunal concluded that the disclosures were made in the reasonable belief of the Respondent that they were in the interest of 100 senior managers, and that that is a sufficient group of the public to amount to be a matter in the public interest. The decision of the Tribunal was that the Respondent was unfairly dismissed and automatically unfairly dismissed by the First Appellant and that the First and Second Appellants subjected him to detriments on the grounds that he had made protected disclosures.
The Appellants appealed on two grounds: first, that the Tribunal erred on concluding that disclosures made in the interest of the 100 senior managers was to a sufficient group of the public to amount to being a matter in the public interest; and second that it was for the Tribunal to determine objectively whether or not the disclosures were of real public interest, and this the Tribunal failed to do.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal rejected both grounds of appeal: (1) the question for consideration under section 43B(1) of the 1996 Act is not whether the disclosure per se is in the public interest but whether the worker making the disclosure has a reasonable belief that the disclosure is made in the public interest; (2) the sole purpose of the amendment to section 43B(1) by section 17 of the 2013 Act was to reverse the effect of Parkins v Sodexho Ltd. The words ‘in the public interest’ were introduced to do no more than prevent a worker from relying upon a breach of his own contract of employment where the breach is of a personal nature and there are no wider public interest implications.

Supperstone J
[2015] UKEAT 0335 – 14 – 0804
Employment Rights Act 1996 43B(1), Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013
England and Wales
CitedPepper (Inspector of Taxes) v Hart HL 26-Nov-1992
Reference to Parliamentary Papers behind Statute
The inspector sought to tax the benefits in kind received by teachers at a private school in having their children educated at the school for free. Having agreed this was a taxable emolument, it was argued as to whether the taxable benefit was the . .
Overruled by StatuteParkins v Sodexho Ltd EAT 22-Jun-2001
The applicant had been employed for a short period. He was dismissed, and he claimed that this was because he had made a protected disclosure in complaining about the respondent’s health and safety practices. He had applied for interim relief. The . .
CitedALM Medical Services Limited v Bryan Bladon CA 26-Jul-2002
The employee claimed that he had been unlawfully dismissed, and that his dismissal broke the protection given to whistleblowers under the Act. The employer appealed.
Held: In such claims it was necessary first for the tribunal to establish . .
CitedBabula 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. . .
CitedJameel v Wall Street Journal Europe Sprl HL 11-Oct-2006
The House was asked as to the capacity of a limited company to sue for damage to its reputation, where it had no trading activity within the jurisdiction, and as to the extent of the Reynolds defence. The defendants/appellants had published an . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Discrimination

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.545148