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Tribunal defines would-be whistle-blowers' protections

Publish date: 16 August 2019
Issue Number: 85
Diary: CompliNEWS
Category: Workplace

LegalBrief Today

Employees who research how to blow the whistle can rely on the same legal protections as actual whistle-blowers, a tribunal has found. According to a Law Gazette report, client service executive James Stuart Bilsbrough claimed he was subjected to a detriment and unfair dismissal after he discovered an alleged data security breach at the venue directory business he worked for. After stumbling across the data issue, Bilsbrough promptly informed a company director. However, Bilsbrough was scolded by his line manager for not approaching her directly and told to ‘engage his brain’. Angered by this, Bilsbrough told another colleague that he would ‘take the company down’ with the information he had. He then used Google to research data protection principles and how to make a disclosure to the Information Commissioner. Bilsbrough was suspended when his line manager found out about this and was later dismissed, following a disciplinary meeting. The tribunal found that Bilsbrough was suspended for considering how to blow the whistle and that this was not justified. The tribunal did not find that Bilsbrough was unfairly dismissed, however. It stated that he was dismissed ‘because he had threatened to take the company down' and 'that threat was separate to researching how to make a disclosure.’

Full Law Gazette report



Working Smart

By Lee Rossini

Even if a financial advice business currently has people falling over themselves to become clients, most of them will need to attract new clients at some stage during their existence. However, thanks to the compliance requirements and a high degree of commoditization, appearing different in the minds of clients can present something of a challenge. When attempting to attract new clients, the message must take a prospective client from awareness to being signed up as a new client.  The AIDA model is frequently used as the foundation of successful advertising strategies. 


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