It is automatically unfair dismissal to dismiss an employee for making a ‘protected disclosure’, in good faith, to someone to whom they are entitled to make it, or to penalise them for doing so.
A former railway worker has been awarded £200,000 in compensation after the Carlisle Employment Tribunal found that he had been unfairly dismissed by Network Rail after he drew attention to a breach of standard health and safety practice. Jim Glencross claimed that he was sacked because he decided to tell the truth about unsafe working practices that had led to a colleague being injured whilst working on overhead lines in 2004.
Mr Glencross witnessed the accident and claimed that he was originally pressurised into making a false statement that failed to mention that the workers had cut corners, a practice apparently encouraged by the managers of the company in order to save time. It was Mr Glencross’s contention that when he retracted his original statement, he was dismissed. Network Rail claimed that Mr Glencross was dismissed for serious misconduct with regard to railway safety measures. However, the ET accepted Mr Glencross’s version of events and awarded him £200,000 for loss of earnings.