Whistleblowing – in the public interest or of self-interest?

In Parson v Airplus International Ltd, Ms Parson (a qualified non-practising barrister) made a number of disclosures to her employer. She argued the disclosures qualified for protection and therefore her dismissal shortly after was automatically unfair for whistleblowing.

The tribunal and the EAT disagreed finding that Ms Parson only had her self-interest in mind when making the disclosures, rather than any belief they were being made in the public interest. While a disclosure made in the worker’s self-interest may also be in the public interest and thus protected, on the facts these disclosures were not.

It was Ms Parson’s conduct which led to her dismissal, not the making of the disclosures.