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Whistleblowing: Dismissal as an Act of Detriment

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Could an employee bring a claim of whistleblowing detriment against his employer where the act of detriment relied upon was his dismissal?

No, held the EAT in Wicked Vision v Rice.

The Claimant brought a claim of automatic unfair dismissal against the Respondent. He alleged he was dismissed because he had made protected disclosures. The Claimant later tried to amend his claim, to add that the act of the dismissing officer in dismissing him was a detriment on grounds of whistleblowing for which the Respondent was liable. The tribunal allowed the amendment.

The EAT disagreed with the tribunal's decision. The law states that if an employee is dismissed due to whistleblowing, their claim against their employer in relation to the dismissal is for automatic unfair dismissal. The act of dismissal can't be brought as a detriment claim against the employer. The Claimant could have claimed detriment against the individual dismissing officer. But, they couldn't claim the detriment of dismissal against the employer directly.

The correct claim against the Respondent employer was the one originally brought: automatic unfair dismissal.