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Jeremy Clarkson case raises questions over responsibility of employees in dismissal cases

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“An employee is always going to find it difficult to persuade an employment tribunal or a court that they shouldn’t be sacked after physically assaulting a colleague, no matter what the background. Comments from Jon Gilligan, Partner at GQ Employment Law, the specialist employment law firm.

Jeremy Clarkson Sacked“However, context is everything. An employer has to take into account all of the background before making its decision. For example, it may be relevant if the employee was acting in self-defence, or was provoked, or the incident was triggered by some other extraordinary situation (such as if the employee had a mental illness or was suffering from extreme stress at the time). But simply being tired, hungry or suffering from low blood sugar levels is unlikely to be a good excuse for this type of behaviour.”

The employer will also be expected to take into account the employee’s track record and length of service before making its final decision. Provided an employer takes into account all of the relevant circumstances, an Employment Tribunal is unlikely to interfere with its decision.” Jon Gilligan also says that it would be fairly standard for a business who have a contract with a celebrity to retain the right to terminate the contract early if the celebrity's actions risk bringing the business into disrepute.

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