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27th March 2024

Humanitarian Aid Charity Ordered To Pay £31,000 Following Unfair Dismissal

Employment Tribunal

A humanitarian aid charity called Human Relief Foundation has been ordered to pay an ex-employee £31,000 following an unfair dismissal complaint.

Background to Whistleblowing

What is whistleblowing?

You are a whistleblower if you are a worker and you report wrongdoing. The wrongdoing you disclose must be in the public interest and therefore must affect others. If you report the wrongdoing, you are protected by law and should not be treated unfairly or lose your job as a result of making the protected disclosure or ‘blowing the whistle’. You can raise a concern at any time about an incident that happened in the past, is happening now, or you believe will happen in the future.

What happens if you’re treated unfairly after whistleblowing?

If you are treated unfairly after making a protected disclosure, you can take a case to the Employment Tribunal. As in this case, if you are found to be successful in your claim you could be awarded thousands of pounds. In July 2023, Royal Mail was ordered by an Employment Tribunal to pay £2 million to an employee who was bullied after blowing the whistle.

Background to this case

Ahmad, who was asthmatic, found smoking equipment in the office in August 2020. She reported finding cigarette ash in mugs, sheesha/hookah pipe equipment and other substances on a table in the workplace. The office was closed for investigation and Ahmad was reassured by HR that colleagues named in the whistleblowing report would not be in the office at the same time as her. However, upon arrival, the colleagues were inside and outside of the premises. Ahmad reported that two of the colleagues intimidated her which caused her to fear for her safety. Ahmad was later dismissed on 8 October 2020.

The Employment Tribunal in Manchester found that Ahmad had been subject to a detriment for making a protected disclosure. In addition to this, they found that she had been unfairly dismissed under section 103A of the Employment Rights Act 1996. Human Relief Foundation was ordered to pay the Claimant £30,000 as injury to feelings and £1,607 in damages for a breach of contract.


Regardless of an employee’s length of service, it is imperative that an employee does not suffer a detriment because they have made a ‘protected disclosure’ or be dismissed because of this. The case also highlights the potential financial implications of an Employment Tribunal claim with Whistleblowing as the compensation is uncapped and the employee is also eligible for injury to feelings.

Employers must have a Whistleblowing policy contained within their Handbook and follow the procedures correctly if any employee ever makes a protected disclosure.

You can read more about the case on the government’s website.

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