Clarkson faces employment tribunal
Clarkson faces employment tribunal – Last month we reported that Chelsea FC and Mourinho were being jointly sued for constructive dismissal by their former Team Doctor. Hot on the heels of this case comes another high profile employment legal action against again, both an individual and the employer of the Complainant.
A BBC investigation in March found that Clarkson was guilty of verbally and physically attacking Tymon, a Top Gear Producer, and Clarkson was subsequently dropped.
Now Tymon is bringing an employment tribunal claim against both the BBC and Clarkson as an individual for race discrimination, and is also pursuing a personal injury claim. Discrimination claims have no upper caps on compensation and while typical payments for successful claims are around £10,000, high profile claims like this one could attract substantial six figure sums.
This case differs slightly from the Mourinho story we reported last month insofar as the Chelsea team doctor bringing that case has already moved to a new employer and is claiming constructive dismissal. What they have very much in common though by adding high profile figures like Jeremy Clarkson and Jose Mourinho to the public proceedings is an increased chance of headline grabbing awards or, if the claimants are minded to do so, a higher potential settlement if either celebrity wishes to avoid further damaging revelations.
But is there any relevance here for those of us who run small businesses and who aren’t in the public eye? If a business owner was to commit employment law breaches towards an employee (discrimination/harassment being the likely claims) then tactically an employee may wish to name the business and the business owner as respondents. By doing so the employee exposes the employer and crucially the owners to additional reputational risk, and as employment cases can normally be reported openly, owners could easily see themselves named and shamed in local papers. Under the circumstances they too may be more tempted to settle than have to suffer the ignominy of their neighbour’s disapproval and of course the risk to future local business that may result.
The best strategy of course for employers is to make sure that discriminatory acts are not carried out in the workplace and to expect and require the same of all employees and managers – an updated Equal Opportunities Statement, Dignity at Work Policy and Social Media Policy circulated to all employees would be a good place to start – for a full set of HR policies updated for 2016 please click here. Please also see our earlier report on the Mourinho case for our full recommendations for small business.
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