Legal advice: Appeal Court sets precedent on whistleblowing

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Related tags: Appeal, Tribunal, Court of appeal

So does the burden of proof rest with employers to show that any subsequent dismissal of an employee was not due to whistlebowing?The risks to...

So does the burden of proof rest with employers to show that any subsequent dismissal of an employee was not due to whistlebowing?

The risks to employers in possible whistleblowing claims was emphasised by the Court of Appeal on March 8, 2007, in the case of Dr R Kuzel v Roche Products Ltd (court reference UKEAT/0516/06). Here, the employer failed to establish the reason for the dismissal which he advanced.

This led to the employee arguing that the employment tribunal was bound to conclude automatically that the reason for dismissal was that argued by the employee - that is, whistleblowing. Thankfully this reversal of the usual burden of proof (reflecting the law in discrimination cases) was rejected by the appeal court.

However, the court did accept that where the employer's given reason was not substantiated, and the employee had argued genuinely that the real reason was 'whistleblowing', a tribunal should find in the employee's favour if the employer could not disprove that allegation.

Related topics: Licensing law

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