I was recently asked by the Daily Mirror to comment on a high-profile story involving the sacking of pundit John McCririck from Channel 4 Racing. Here’s what I had to say about his case:
What rights do older workers have?
If, as Mr McCririck claims, he has been employed by Channel 4 on rolling contracts for 29 years, he may well have the same rights as any other permanent employee.
This would include the right not to be unfairly dismissed or discriminated against, both of which he would appear to be claiming.
To dismiss an employee who has continuous service of more than 24 months an employer must satisfy a tribunal that there has been a fair reason for dismissal. This will typically be on the grounds of misconduct, capability or redundancy.
If there is a suggestion dismissal is for a discriminatory reason, the qualifying service is not necessary. Where discrimination is proven the usual compensation cap of £72,300 falls away, but a successful payout in the millions is unlikely as the largest age discrimination award last year was £144,100.
However, if Mr McCririck’s services have been engaged through a third party company or in a consultancy capacity, usually for tax reasons as is the case with many media stars, his employment claim may fall at the first hurdle.
Published in the Daily Mirror, 10/01/2013