Aid charity ordered to pay £30,000 after unfairly dismissing whistleblowing employee

07 Mar 2024 News

Adobe, by Vitalii Vodolazskyi

Human Relief Foundation has been ordered to pay £30,000 to an employee it unfairly dismissed after they made a protected disclosure.

An employment tribunal ruled that a complaint of unfair dismissal against the charity, which provides humanitarian aid and assistance by responding to emergencies, was well-founded and succeeded. 

The tribunal also judged that a complaint of “being subjected to detriment for making a protected disclosure” was well-founded.

Human Relief Foundation was ordered to pay the claimant £30,000 as an “injury to feelings award, awarded as a result of her being subjected to the detriments found for making a protected disclosure”.

It was also ordered to pay the claimant £1,607 in damages for a breach of contract in relation to paying only 80% of their salary for the period recorded as furlough.

Complaints of discrimination because of religion or belief and disability were dismissed. 

Human Relief Foundation, which recorded an income of £13.9m in 2022, declined to comment.

Whistleblowing rules

To be protected by whistleblowing law, you must make a “protected disclosure”, which has several main elements.

It means you must make a disclosure of information, and you must also reasonably believe the concern tends to show a category of wrongdoing set out in law and is in the public interest.

If an employee meets certain criteria, they have a right not to be victimised or dismissed because they have raised concerns. 

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