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Dismissal not for whistleblowing where decision maker misled

Makbool Javaid

In Royal Mail Group Ltd v Jhuti, Jhuti (J) reported to Widmer (W) that there had been a breach of Royal Mail’s rules and its regulators requirements. W advised her to admit that she was mistaken, which she did fearing she would lose her job. W then set J an “ever changing unattainable list of requirements”. J was dismissed by another manager, Vickers (V), for poor performance. V knew nothing of the background. The EAT held that J was unfairly dismissed for whistleblowing, even though V was unaware of the disclosures, because W had manipulated the facts, and so the employer was liable. The Court of Appeal disagreed. The reason for dismissal requires considering the mental processes of the dismissing officer. Even if W attempted to get J dismissed because she had made protected disclosure that motivation could not be attributed to the employer as it was not shared by V.

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