Two former Radio Clyde presenters have won a tribunal claim against Bauer Media for unfair dismissal.
Adrian Coll and Kevin Cameron won their claim this week after a year-long case, in which Bauer Media said the two presenters were no longer needed.
Adrian Coll was told in November 2011 he would no longer be needed and Kevin Cameron was dismissed at around the same time. They both claimed for unfair dismissal and age discrimination during the first stages of their legal challenge last March, despite the company claiming that the pair were employed as freelancers. Adrian worked for the station for over 10 years, whilst Kevin had worked there for 17 years.
At a previous hearing, it was heard that George Bowie, Suzie McGuire and Mike Riddoch were the only Clyde presenter who were recognised employees, with the others being freelance presenters.
The Glasgow employment tribunal ruled their dismissal was unfair as they should have been treated as employees. A date will be set for judgment on compensation.
The tribunal said there was “no meaningful or genuine consultation” and the process followed was “applicable to termination of a freelancer engagement”.
The tribunal said: “It is not a fair dismissal if an employer dismisses without an assessment of performance, opportunity to improve being given and then a further evaluation of performance, all done in the appropriate manner so the employee knows what the expectations are, and with those expectations being reasonable and achievable.”
The tribunal felt that, while the employers said the dismissals were felt necessary for a “freshen-up” of the DJ line-up, the real reason was concern over the decline in audience share of overnight shows.
The tribunal said it could see a stronger case for moving presenters from one time slot to another, or from one station to another, if it wanted to freshen up its offering.
The DJs’ solicitor, Marie Macdonald of Miller Samuel said: “The decision may open the floodgates for other unfair dismissal claims from other presenters who have their contracts terminated or altered without their agreement.
“The majority of presenters working in the UK radio industry are treated as self-employed freelancers and, until this decision, were viewed by station owners as having no employment rights.”
Bauer Media said it was considering an appeal.
A spokesman added: “Adrian Coll lost his age discrimination claim and both Coll and Kevin Cameron withdrew their claims for holiday pay. The tribunal held that Bauer had a fair reason for dismissal, namely the capability of these two presenters.”
Source: Herald Scotland