Whistleblowing – employer’s belief about whether a disclosure is protected is irrelevant

13.07.2017

Beatt -v- Croydon Health Services NHS Trust 2017 concerned a cardiologist who made disclosures to the NHS Trust following an incident involving the death of a patient. The hospital decided that the allegations made by the doctor were without merit, and he was dismissed. At first instance, the Tribunal held that he had been dismissed for making protected disclosures. The EAT disagreed; however the Court of Appeal overturned the EAT decision. The Court of Appeal held that the hospital’s belief that the disclosures were not protected (either because they were made in bad faith, or not in the public interest – the facts of the case were split across the period in which the law in this area was changed) was irrelevant. The Tribunal found that the reason for the doctor’s dismissal was the making of the disclosures, and it subsequently found that the disclosures themselves were, objectively, protected – the fact that the employer thought differently at the time it took the decision to dismiss was not relevant.

Justin Costley

Author