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£1.7m award by ET for whistleblowing upheld

Makbool Javaid

No upper limit applies to the amount of compensation that can be awarded where the reason for unfair dismissal or detriment is whistleblowing. In International Petroleum Ltd and others v Osipov and others, an ET upheld Osipov’s (O) claim that he had been subjected to a detriment and unfairly dismissed for whistleblowing about serious alleged wrongdoings at management level.  £1,744,575 was awarded against the company and two non-executive directors (NEDs) on a joint and several basis. The EAT dismissed the NEDs’ argument that they could not be held personally liable for the decision to dismiss and consequentially, the losses flowing from it. The NED’s had given the instruction to dismiss O and that amounted to a detriment. No legal principle existed which exempted the NEDs from personal liability to pay compensation for such losses. The case highlights how it is possible to bring liability claims against individuals in whistleblowing claims and the extent of unlimited compensation.

This update provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and the judgments made in every aspect of the case. Click on the links to access full details. If no link is provided, contact us for more information.  Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, SM&B cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.

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