The EAT has held that individuals (co-workers/managers/directors etc.) can be jointly and severally liable for dismissal related damages in whistleblowing detriment claims. This means that, in a similar way to the regime for discrimination claims, the claimant can bring their claims against the main individuals involved in the case, as well as the employer itself.

The employee, O, was briefly the CEO of an oil and gas exploration company, which was engaged in oil exploration in Niger. O made a number of protected disclosures. O alleged that, as a result of making those protected disclosures, he had suffered detriments and had ultimately been dismissed.

The employment tribunal hearing O’s claim decided two non-executive directors (NEDs) were personally liable for their part in dismissing O. One of the NEDs (who were more akin to executive directors) instructed the other to dismiss the claimant and the other duly did so. The tribunal held that the NEDs were personally liable for post-dismissal losses on a joint and several basis with the employer (which the tribunal found had unfairly dismissed the claimant by reason of whistleblowing). This decision was upheld by the EAT.

International Petroleum Ltd & Ors -v- Osipov & Ors [2017] UKEAT/0229/16 / UKEAT/0058/17