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Supreme Court LLP ‘whistle-blowing’ ruling is good news

Michelle Chance, Partner, Employment and Partnership law, at Kingsley Napley LLP comments on the Supreme Court judgment determining that LLP members should be defined as workers in respect of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998…

This is good news for both LLPs and LLP members. LLP members have access to financial documentation and management information that most employees would not see, and are therefore more likely to be aware of wrongdoing than more junior members of staff. LLPs should encourage a culture of compliance and transparency in which members are valued for doing the right thing and bringing wrongdoing to their firm’s attention, so that it can be dealt with early on & stamped out.    

LLP members have for many years benefited from statutory protection against discriminatory treatment and it is therefore consistent that they should enjoy statutory whistleblowing protection too. Following HMRC’s recent challenge to the employment/self-employed status of fixed share equity partners,  they will now be taxed as employees rather than self-employed, unless they fail one of the three conditions imposed by HMRC. Those LLP Members who  are now being taxed as employees, will therefore be relieved to know that they can now benefit from more of the statutory employment protections that employees enjoy.

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