Now that the BBC has sacked Jeremy Clarkson from his position as a presenter of Top Gear, we examine exactly what are his employee rights in this situation.
The Answer from Solicitors online
There are two scenarios that we can look at when examining Jeremy Clarkson getting sacked by the BBC from his role on Top Gear as a host. The first is Jeremy Clarkson getting sacked with a notice period and Jeremy Clarkson getting sacked without notice.
Getting sacked with a notice period
It is also important to note that UK law provides a set of minimum notice periods that your employer must abide by. The length of notice written in your contract cannot be less than the legal minimum notice period. All UK employers must provide employees with:
- One week’s notice after an employee has carried one month of employment.
- Two week’s notice after an employee has carried out two years of employment.
- Three weeks after an employee has carried out three years of employment.
Therefore a good place for Jeremy Clarkson to start when finding out what his employee rights are, is for him to check his BBC contract of employment. His contract of employment from the BBC should state the notice period that the BBC is required to give him notice in the instance he gets sacked.
If the BBC gave Jeremy Clarkson less notice than the length of times stated above, then he may be able to challenge or sue the BBC on this matter. Depending on the circumstances, he could decide to make a claim for wrongful dismissal at the Employment Tribunal Service.
As an employee Jeremy Clarkson could waive his right to receive notice from the BBC or agree to receive a payment instead of having his notice period. However the option of receiving a payment in replacement of his notice period must be stated in his contract of employment, for him to take up such an option. This payment option is known as payment in lieu of notice.
Getting sacked without notice
If Jeremy Clarkson’s behavior at work has been deemed to be one of gross misconduct e.g. violent, theft or discrimination to another member of staff, it may justify him getting dismissed by the BBC without notice. It’s most likely that this is the route that the BBC took with Clarkson, and reports state that he attacked another member of staff.
If the BBC had acted in a wrong manner towards Clarkson, it may have justified him leaving his job without giving the BBC any notice. However it is always best to seek legal advice from a Solicitor first with the circumstances of the apparently wrongful dismissal.. In Jeremy Clarkson’s case, interestingly it is reported that his attack on another member of staff, was the result of the BBC not putting preparations together to ensure that dinner was provided for Jeremy Clarkson and his co hosts…..
This of course would not be sufficient for Clarkson to have left the BBC without notice.
If you need Employment law advice online you can speak to one of our Solicitors online right now.