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Whistleblower retaliation case settles - by Tristam Price

Updated: Mar 29

On 7 November 2023 we reported the interim reinstatement of a sacked whistleblower.  Sarah Blick, Member of the Employment Relations Authority, had ordered taxi company Communication and Training Services Ltd to reinstate an employee anonymised to PPK on an interim basis.

Member Blick explained what the Protected Disclosures Act 2022 is about:

[60] The Authority notes here the purpose of the PDA 2022 is to promote the public interest by facilitating the disclosure and timely investigation of serious wrongdoing in or by and organisation and by protecting the people who disclose in accordance with the PDA 2022. This matter involves what PPK believes was a protected disclosure of alleged serious wrongdoing under the PDA 2022 and claims the respondents as receiver of the disclosure failed to protect PPK following its receipt. A personal grievance has been raised claiming the respondents facilitated retaliation through the disciplinary process following the making of the disclosure. 

That left the substantive matter to be determined, along with whether anonymisation of the employee PPK should continue.

A subsequent determination dated 22 March 2024 notes that the parties have now resolved all matters between them.  

The interim reinstatement order was rescinded, which most likely means that the employee PPK agreed in mediation to leave the employment of Communication and Training Services Ltd with a confidential payout.   Anonymisation of PPK (and a second respondent ROC) is now permanent.

Blick added:

[6] I commend the parties and counsel for reaching agreement.

Meanwhile in the United Kingdom, whistleblower retaliation is rife, thanks to the weak and outdated Public Interest Disclosures Act 1998.  New legislation including the establishment of an Office of the Whistleblower is on the horizon.

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