Whistleblower Wins Landmark Case

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“Tried to Protect the Public Purse”

A mother-of-two has who “tried to protect the public purse from suspected fraud” has been praised after single-handedly winning a landmark employment ruling.

 

“Naz Shah, a 37-year-old Bradford mother-of-two, took a local government association to the hearing for detriment damages and unfair dismissal in a two-year David and Goliath-style battle after her own union refused to back her as it rated her chances of success as being too slim.”

 

Her victory has been described by the tribunal panel as a “historical case for whistleblowers.”

 

“In 2009 Mrs Shah, who worked as a commissioning manager for NHS Bradford and Airedale, was seconded to become programme director of a national pilot scheme called Get Connected which was hosted by Local Government Yorkshire and Humber.”

 

“The scheme was to encourage more Muslim women into leadership in public, private and voluntary sectors region-wide.”

“But at a three-day tribunal in Leeds, it was heard how alarm bells started ringing for Mrs Shah on day one of the £40,000 per year job that was contracted for 23 months.”

 

“Within two weeks Mrs Shah had become so concerned about the programme’s funding arrangements and lack of paper-trails for claims, bids and invoices that she considered returning to her PCT job – but she stayed on.”

 

“Ultimately she resigned from the post and also went on to take redundancy from the NHS due to the toll of the case. The tribunal decided in favour of Mrs Shah’s claim that she suffered detriment because of her whistleblowing actions.”

“However, because she was on a secondment at the time and therefore not directly employed by Local Government Yorkshire and Humber, the unfair dismissal part of her claim could not be found in her favour.”

 

In conclusion, the tribunal panel stated: “The claimant’s original motive and instincts were right: concern for the public purse and the frameworks in place to look after it.

 

“The Tribunal considered this case, unlike many cases brought under the whistleblowing provisions, to be a paradigm for their need.”

 

“Mrs Shah, of Daisy Hill Lane, said: “This now protects other secondees and workers who will whistleblow in good faith. I’m just glad I was honest.”

 

A spokesman for the Local Government Yorkshire and Humber said “with a remedy hearing still to take place to decide the level of compensation for Mrs Shah it would not be appropriate to comment.”

 

Mrs Shah is now helping to run a family children’s play venture in Lister Mills.

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