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The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has awarded over £462,000 in compensation after a nurse was found to have been unfairly dismissed for voicing her intention to launch whistleblowing proceedings.


Over a 10-month period, a nurse raised various concerns with her manager regarding the health and safety of patients and colleagues, as well as her intention to start a formal whistleblowing process. She was suspended under the guise of gross misconduct relating to her leadership, despite having 38 years of unblemished service. The EAT dismissed the employer’s appeal finding that the threat of whistleblowing was in fact the reason for her dismissal (not misconduct).

Practical takeaways

Unlimited compensation – this case is a stark reminder that the cap on compensation is removed in whistleblowing cases (and there’s no requirement for an individual to have two years’ service to bring a claim).

Policies and training – it might not always be blatantly obvious if an employee is ‘blowing the whistle’ (unlike in this case). Training your managers on your internal policies, how to spot whistleblowing and how to deal with it effectively reduces litigation exposure and creates a culture of ownership and proactivity.

If there’s any doubt as to whether an employee has ‘blown the whistle’, securing advice early is key to ensure you’re able to manage the situation proactively and minimise risk – Intelligent Employment is here to help. Get in touch to find out more.


This update is accurate on the date it was sent (07 July 2022), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

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