Eva Carneiro's Demotion, and 5 Other Reasons for an Employment Tribunal


The recent news surrounding the very public rebuke and subsequent demotion of Chelsea football club's female physio has stirred up a storm – and not just for football fans.

5 Reasons for an Employment Tribunal

In August, we saw Chelsea's manager, Jose Mourinho, lose his temper with Eva Carneiro as she ran onto the pitch after being summoned to treat an injured player. People have suggested that Mourinho's outburst was more than anger at losing another player on the pitch, and was in fact illustrative of the type of sexist bullying and gender inequality prevalent within in a male dominated sporting environment. If Carneiro is prevented from being involved in future football matches, that is, demoted – even if her job title stays the same then she could pursue successful claims of sex discrimination and potentially, constructive dismissal, in the Employment Tribunal.

Whilst we're on the subject of pursuing claims, take a look at the 5 most common claims seen by the Employment and Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) from April 2013 to March 2014.

Top 5 Most Common Tribunal Claims

  1. Working Hours – Claims under the Working Time Directive account for the most claims, with 49,087 lodged, making up a quarter of all claims made. These claims are from employees who may have been deprived of breaks, or have been forced to work over the maximum number of hours to name a couple of examples.
  2. Unfair Dismissal – This accounted for 28,528 of claims last year. An unfair dismissal case also attracted the largest award of compensation at a whopping £3,402,245.
  3. Unauthorised deductions from wages – 27,385 people claimed for wages that had been deducted by employers without their consent.
  4. Equal Pay – 17,202 claims were pursued by employees, the majority of whom were women earning less pay than their male colleagues for doing equal work.
  5. Breach of contract – 16,762 claims were pursued by workers seeking unpaid wages, notice pay, bonuses and commission payments or other sums due on termination of their employment.

Claims Dropping Overall

The most recent EAT statistics between 2013 and 2014 worryingly show that fewer claims are being lodged in the Employment Tribunal. The statistics show that between August 2013 and March 2014, the total number of cases received dropped as much as 59%; from 39,567 in the previous year to just 16,206. That’s not to suggest employers are treating their staff any better or indeed, fully complying with their legal obligations. The introduction of fees for claims pursued in the Employment Tribunal is more likely the reason for the drop in numbers of claims. Fees deter many from accessing justice and gaining redress for unlawful treatment in the workplace.

Simpson Millar LLP supports the abolition of Employment Tribunal fees and welcomes the Government review of the current fee regime. We believe that all workers should have access to Tribunals irrespective of their ability to pay.

If you are experiencing problems at work, our solicitors specialising in employment law are on hand to help. We can support you in finding out if you could have a successful claim against your employer and in receiving the award you are entitled to.

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