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Bolton School v M Evans

When deciding whether an act amounted to a protected disclosure for the purpose of s 43B of the Employment Rights Act 1996, the word ‘disclosure’ should be given its ordinary meaning and an employment tribunal was wrong to use a purposive approach when interpreting the legislation.

24 November 2006

The appellant employee (E) appealed against the decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal allowing the appeal of the respondent school (B) against the decision of the employment tribunal that he had been unfairly dismissed for making a protected disclosure. E, who had been employed as a technology teacher by B, hacked into B’s computer system to demonstrate that security was inadequate. Before he hacked into the system, E informed the head of the department what he intended to do and afterwards he told the headmaster what he had done. B instigated disciplinary proceedings and gave E a warning. E left and claimed constructive unfair dismissal on the basis that he had made a protected disclosure under s 43B of the Employment Rights Act 1996. The tribunal held that E had been unfairly dismissed as he had made a protected disclosure and had suffered a detriment because of that disclosure. The EAT held that E had not been dismissed because he had made a protected disclosure but becaus...

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