Q&As

Can an employee bring claims for whistleblowing detriment and victimisation in the employment tribunal against a co-worker, without also bringing a claim against their employer?

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Published on LexisPSL on 19/12/2019

The following Employment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can an employee bring claims for whistleblowing detriment and victimisation in the employment tribunal against a co-worker, without also bringing a claim against their employer?
  • Whistleblowing detriment
  • Victimisation

Whistleblowing detriment

A worker (W) has a right not to be subjected to any detriment by any act, or any deliberate failure to act, done by another worker of W’s employer in the course of that other worker’s employment on the ground that W has made a protected disclosure.

Where this happens, the act or failure to act in question is treated as also done by the employer. This is so whether or not the act or omission occurred with the employer's knowledge or approval, though in the case of detriment by a fellow worker the employer is given a statutory defence if it can show that it took all reasonable steps to prevent that other worker from doing the thing in question or from doing anything of that description.

The fellow worker or agent may be liable for the detriment as well as the employer, but the fellow worker will not to be liable if:

  1. they did the thing in question in reliance on a statement by the employer that doing it did not contravene Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996), and

  2. i

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