A whistleblower has won her claim in the Employment Tribunal after the decision of the Employment Tribunal was upheld in the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
Ms Gahir was employed by Blackbay Ventures Ltd t/a Chemistree as a Responsible Pharmacist for a period of 18 days in August 2010, 7 of which were induction days. From the start of the employment relationship there were difficulties between Ms Gahir and her employer, as Ms Gahir almost immediately started to question the manner in which the business dealt with health and safety concerns and their legal obligations. During the course of the 11 days that Ms Gahir was actually employed by the business, she sent 17 emails raising separate concerns over her employer’s failure to comply with health and safety as well as legal obligations. For its part, Blackbay responded to the emails immediately and agreed to implement any changes necessary. However, she was dismissed on 3 September 2012 and sought to make a claim for automatic unfair dismissal and detriment due to protected disclosures to the Employment Tribunal.
The case came to the Employment Tribunal and Mr Gahir was successful in both her claims. Blackbay appealed against both findings and the matter came to the Employment Appeal Tribunal last year. The Employment Appeal Tribunal dismissed Ms Gahir’s claim for detriment due to protected disclosure, holding that she could not have been in employment long enough for her employer to take a deliberate act not to implement the agreed changes to procedure. However, the Employment Appeal Tribunal was obliged to uphold Ms Gahir’s claim for automatic unfair dismissal as it could not state that the Employment Tribunal’s decision on the facts was a perverse one, although it described the outcome of the Employment Tribunal in this respect as “surprising”. It appears that issues of “remedy” (i.e. the compensation to be awarded) will be dealt with by the Employment Appeal Tribunal on submissions.