31 July 2019
Where an employee is dismissed, it will be automatically unfair if the principal reason for the decision to dismiss was that they made a protected public interest disclosure. But what if the decision-maker is being manipulated by another? In the case of Royal Mail Ltd v Jhuti, the dismissing officer was unwittingly misled by the employee’s line manager. In 2017, The Court of Appeal, confirmed that in the context of a whistleblowing unfair dismissal claim, even where manipulation has taken place, it is only the mental processes of the person or persons who was or were authorised to, and did, take the decision to dismiss that is relevant. Unfair or even unlawful conduct on the part of individual colleagues or managers is immaterial unless it can be properly attributed to the employer.
The Supreme Court will now consider the issue of decision-maker manipulation in Jhuti, on 12 and 13 June