Tuesday 6 April 2010


[Thanks to James Medhurst of Employment Law Advocates for providing this case summary]

The EAT (Langstaff J) has handed down its decision in BP plc v Elstone, which is authority for the proposition that a worker can claim to have suffered a detriment from his current employer on the ground of a protected disclosure made whilst employed by a previous employer. It was held that there is no reason to suppose that there is any implied restriction of the expression "worker" and "employer" in sections 43A and 43B of the Employment Rights Act 1996 to that which is work under the same contract and for the same employer as that referred to in section 47B. The courts are obliged to take a purposive approach to the statutory provisions and, otherwise, it would lead to practical repercussions where the two employers are part of a group of companies and there is a TUPE transfer between them.

However, it is not correct that a claimant does not need to be a worker of any employer at the time of making the disclosure. The plain wording of the statutory provisions identifies a worker as making the disclosure, not "a person", and contemplates that at the time of the disclosure there is someone who is an employer.

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