Employment Law Case Update: Malik v Cenkos Securities Plc
Dr Malik worked for Cenkos Securities Plc as a Securities Analyst. He made several disclosures, some of which were found to be protected by the Employment Tribunal (ET).
In September 2015, the Head of Compliance at Cenkos Securities commenced an investigation into Dr Malik regarding conflicts of interests and if he failed to disclose them, Dr Malik was subsequently suspended. A disciplinary procedure took place for Dr Malik having allegedly breached share-dealing rules when he was already on a written warning for that reason. Dr Malik later resigned. There was a dispute as to whether there was a conspiracy to dismiss him and whether the Head of Compliance was motivated to dismiss due to the protected disclosures made by Dr Malik.
Dr Malik brought claims of constructive unfair dismissal, automatic unfair dismissal and detriment on whistleblowing grounds and victimisation.
The ET rejected of all Dr Malik’s claims, stating that the decision taken by the Head of Compliance had nothing to do with protected disclosures. Dr Malik appealed on the grounds that a chain of command was involved in the decision process and had been motivated to dismiss him due to his disclosures – therefore the whole chain should have been considered.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal dismissed the appeal arguing the chain of command had not influenced the decision made by the Head of Compliance and should not be taken into consideration when assessing the act of the innocent decision-maker.
This case highlights that in whistleblowing claims a person subjecting the whistleblower to detriment must be personally motivated by the protected disclosure. The knowledge and motivation of another should not be attributed to an innocent decision-maker. This case is important as a claimant will need to plead and show evidence that the author of the alleged detriment had knowledge of, and was motivated by, the protected disclosure.
This article is from our weekly Employment Law Newsletter published on 08/03/2018. If you would like to receive this newsletter directly and be kept up to date with recent cases and Employment Law news, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.