£10,000 Compensation for Whistleblower in Unfair Dismissal Case

Author:
Stephen Pinder
Partner, Employment Law Solicitor
Date:
10/12/2019

A Whistleblower Case Study - Client Situation

Miss J was employed as a care worker in a care home for the elderly. She had only just started her job at the care home a week previously.

Miss J noticed that the care home was operating poor practices relating to handling money that belonged to the residents in the care home and flagged this practice to her manager. She told the management of the care home that there was a serious risk of dishonesty and a chance that they could be accused of failing to safeguard their clients’ money.

The management team running the care home did not like Miss J bringing up these issues, particularly as she was so new to the team.

Miss J continued to ask what would happen in relation to her complaint but was not taken seriously. She felt that her employer did not like the fact that she continues to ask about what would happen in relation to this poor practice.

She raised a grievance with her employer about her treatment and suggested that she felt victimised by what was happening at work since she raised the issue about the handling of residents’ money.

Miss J was dismissed by the care home after only six weeks. Her employer stated that she had various conduct issues and it was these that resulted in her dismissal.

How We Helped

Miss J did not believe that she had been dismissed because of the alleged conduct issues. She strongly believed that her dismissal was linked to her disclosure about the mishandling of the resident's money.

She called our Employment Law Solicitors and spoke to Stephen Pinder, a Partner and Employment Solicitor who discussed Miss J’s situation with her in detail.

Because Miss J had only been working there for six weeks, she had no usual employment rights because she had such a short length of service. But if Stephen Pinder could show that her dismissal was connected to her disclosure of poor practice at the care home, she would be protected by the whistleblowing laws and could make an Unfair Dismissal claim.

Any dismissal made because of whistleblowing is automatically unfair.  

Miss J decided to go through with making a claim against her former employer for unfair dismissal because of whistleblowing.

She made sure she contacted Employment Solicitor Stephen Pinder within the three month period from the date of her dismissal so her right to claim was protected.

Stephen Pinder represented Miss J at the Employment Tribunal hearing and presented the evidence of what had happened between Miss J and her ex-employer.

The Outcome

The Employment Tribunal was unimpressed by the employer’s reasons for Miss J’s dismissal. This was supported by the fact that she had put a grievance in because of her treatment and said that she felt victimised because of her complaints.

The Employment Tribunal resolved the claim in favour of Miss J and confirmed that it was automatic unfair dismissal.

The care home did appeal the judgment, but soon after settled the case.

Stephen Pinder acted for Miss J on a No Win, No Fee basis, which meant that her former employer had to pay her legal fees. If we had not taken on her claim for her, she couldn’t have run such a technically difficult claim herself.

Miss J received £10,000 compensation tax-free, which was a really big win for her as she was in a very bad financial situation by then. She was thrilled with the outcome of her claim.

For more information see Whistleblowing and Claims for Unfair Dismissal.

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