Ms Jhunti raised concerns to her line manager that a colleague was infringing company policy. Instead of investigating, her line manager put pressure on her to withdraw the allegations, so Ms Jhunti retracted her claim. However, after retracting it, her line manager created a false picture of her performance and bullied her. Ms Jhuti was later dismissed for poor performance.
The Supreme Court found that the real reason for her dismissal was the fact that she had made protected disclosures . It was found that her dismissal was automatically unfair, even though the dismissing manager was unaware of Ms Jhuti’s protected disclosures as they were hidden by the line manager who dressed it up as allegations of poor performance.
The tribunal awarded total loss of earnings to retirement at 67, £55,000 general damages for psychiatric injury, £40,000 for injury to feelings, £12,500 aggravated damages and 0.5% uplift for breach of the Acas Code.
This case shows that the person deciding whether to terminate an employee’s employment should have access to all the relevant information. This may include information about disclosures that an employee has raised with a line manager even if the allegations were withdrawn or not fully investigated.