Whistleblower to be awarded in excess of £100,000
A whistleblower at Royal Mail who raised doubts about the legitimacy of how some staff were awarded bonuses should be awarded more than £100,000 after an employment tribunal ruled her bosses were guilty of ‘destroying her life’.
An employment tribunal heard that an employee had been intimidated and harassed by her boss after shadowing a colleague and reporting that some colleagues were “in effect defrauding the company”.
The employee had suffered from severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of her treatment after raising concerns of fraud. She was told that if her claims were unfounded her job would be under threat. She retracted her allegations but was told she was performing poorly and made to attend weekly meetings with her manager.
Her concerns about bonuses were later validated by an expert, yet despite being vindicated she was put on a six-week performance improvement plan and told that if she did not comply, she would fail her trial period.
She was eventually signed her off with work-related stress, anxiety and depression. She never returned to work and embarked on a seven-year legal battle, part of which involved a 2019 ruling in the Supreme Court that she had been unfairly dismissed.
It ended, after a number of appeals by the employer, with a compensation order for £109,065, including £12,500 in aggravated damages for what the tribunal described as her employer’s “high-handed, malicious, insulting and oppressive” conduct.
The award was made up of personal injury (£55,000), injury to feelings (£40,000) and aggravated damages (£12,500).
If an employee raises a concern don’t ignore it, deal within a timely manner.
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