Jess Varnish Suing British Cycling & UK Sport

Comments

  • mfin
    mfin Posts: 6,729
    I also put this on another thread, not knowing if it warrantied having its own one.
  • RichN95.
    RichN95. Posts: 27,150
    I can't see how she can win that on the basis of 'unfair dismissal' if it actually goes to court.

    a) She's not an employee. She gets a training grant and access to facilities and coaching, which had expired and was not renewed.

    b) Her performances were not demonstrably meriting a contract renewal.

    UK Sport may dig their heels in on this one. They have to have the right to withdraw funding from underperforming athletes.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • gweeds
    gweeds Posts: 2,564
    That the strike out was dismissed suggests there’s something there.

    She’s going in on the ‘I was an employee in all but name’ and that does tie in neatly with a lot of the gig economy cases going on currently.
    Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,738
    To be fair the level of control most national governing bodies have over athletes now I can see her point - it's not really that they just dish out a grant and use of facilities.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • RichN95.
    RichN95. Posts: 27,150
    Gweeds wrote:
    That the strike out was dismissed suggests there’s something there.

    She’s going in on the ‘I was an employee in all but name’ and that does tie in neatly with a lot of the gig economy cases going on currently.
    But she was 'employed' on a contract basis. And her contract was up. She has no right to perpetual employment.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • gweeds
    gweeds Posts: 2,564
    RichN95 wrote:
    Gweeds wrote:
    That the strike out was dismissed suggests there’s something there.

    She’s going in on the ‘I was an employee in all but name’ and that does tie in neatly with a lot of the gig economy cases going on currently.
    But she was 'employed' on a contract basis. And her contract was up. She has no right to perpetual employment.

    It goes beyond that though - this is to decide whether, whilst they are contracted, they are deemed as employees and therefore attract the benefits that go with it (pension, NI etc).
    Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.
  • gweeds
    gweeds Posts: 2,564
    Gweeds wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:
    Gweeds wrote:
    That the strike out was dismissed suggests there’s something there.

    She’s going in on the ‘I was an employee in all but name’ and that does tie in neatly with a lot of the gig economy cases going on currently.
    But she was 'employed' on a contract basis. And her contract was up. She has no right to perpetual employment.

    It goes beyond that though - this is to decide whether, whilst they are contracted, they are deemed as employees and therefore attract the benefits that go with it (pension, NI etc).

    The fact that she wasn't an employee means she didn't have the rights associated with it to sue for sex discrimination, detriment for whistleblowing, victimisation and unfair dismissal (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/ ... sh-cycling).

    "According to reports, UK Sport had applied for a strike-out order to have her case dismissed, along with a costs order and deposit order – which would have led to Varnish’s assets being seized pending the case.

    But on Monday a judge dismissed the applications, determining that they were overly aggressive, allowing Varnish to proceed towards an employment tribunal which will determine whether she was an employee of British Cycling and UK Sport and thus more widely protected under the law."

    So it seems that the step of establishing the employment status is key here in terms of the wider actions she's suing for.
    Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.
  • gsk82
    gsk82 Posts: 3,467
    Gweeds wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:
    Gweeds wrote:
    That the strike out was dismissed suggests there’s something there.

    She’s going in on the ‘I was an employee in all but name’ and that does tie in neatly with a lot of the gig economy cases going on currently.
    But she was 'employed' on a contract basis. And her contract was up. She has no right to perpetual employment.

    It goes beyond that though - this is to decide whether, whilst they are contracted, they are deemed as employees and therefore attract the benefits that go with it (pension, NI etc).

    I'm currently working under a contract. I doubt this is just about her getting the 1% auto enrolment pension and a few weeks holiday.

    You'd hope these often useless lawyers have looked at her tax affairs before starting this process. If she's been getting paid through a private company and paying herself dividends she could be stung for a fair wedge of tax of she's declared an employee.
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • There is an element now of what I would consider kicking the ar se out of this...She has, by her actions, changed the face of the British Cycling set-up, and probably for the better, so whether you agree or not that she warranted selection, that's a different issue to this one in my book.
    She was rewarded with grants/expenses and everything to cover her time as a supreme athlete...now if you take S.Suttons view that she wasn't up to the mark, then surely that funding etc stops with non selection? You can expect the gravy train to keep rolling while you try and find form, but in her case he told her she was simply not good enough any longer and suggested (unproven ) that she go of and do "other things".
    She made lots of allegations, all of which, barring one was unproven, so her case for unfair dismissal etc surely has no merit does it?
    She made loads of allegations...only one found to be upheld..it suggests to me the others that were unproven were possibly embellished to add weight to her grievance, and possibly the process that dismissed all but one of the claims thought the same...I don't know, but what I do think is she is still VERY angry at having her funding/lifestyle withdrawn, and is looking for another way to basically keep British Cycling funding her.
    I don't know if she is trying to get back into the elite level, and if she is...good luck to her, and I for one would support funding her if her performances come up to scratch, but she seems more intent on this current course of action than returning, of course that's only based on what we know.She might be training her socks off, and if so, as I said, hit the targets, funding stream reintroduced, but this current development, looking at it from a layman's point, kind of burns all her bridges would you not think??
  • gweeds
    gweeds Posts: 2,564
    It's like the Bosman ruling in some ways. I think there's a few athletes in various sports who feel that the balance of power favours the large bodies and are looking for some parity.

    I'm not sure how I feel about it yet - but it's interesting to dig into the motivation behind it.
    Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.
  • RichN95.
    RichN95. Posts: 27,150
    Gweeds wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:
    Gweeds wrote:
    That the strike out was dismissed suggests there’s something there.

    She’s going in on the ‘I was an employee in all but name’ and that does tie in neatly with a lot of the gig economy cases going on currently.
    But she was 'employed' on a contract basis. And her contract was up. She has no right to perpetual employment.

    It goes beyond that though - this is to decide whether, whilst they are contracted, they are deemed as employees and therefore attract the benefits that go with it (pension, NI etc).
    That's relevant, but I was only focusing on the 'unfair dismissal' bit. She wasn't dismissed. She just wasn't offered a new contract.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • gweeds
    gweeds Posts: 2,564
    edited November 2017
    RichN95 wrote:
    Gweeds wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:
    Gweeds wrote:
    That the strike out was dismissed suggests there’s something there.

    She’s going in on the ‘I was an employee in all but name’ and that does tie in neatly with a lot of the gig economy cases going on currently.
    But she was 'employed' on a contract basis. And her contract was up. She has no right to perpetual employment.

    It goes beyond that though - this is to decide whether, whilst they are contracted, they are deemed as employees and therefore attract the benefits that go with it (pension, NI etc).
    That's relevant, but I was only focusing on the 'unfair dismissal' bit. She wasn't dismissed. She just wasn't offered a new contract.

    Agreed.I do wonder if the whistle-blower/sexism angle and subsequent lack of new contract means they're looking at a constructive dismissal angle? Speculation on my part obviously.


    It's certainly going to be an interesting one to watch. I imagine a fair few governing bodies will be watching it closely.
    Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.
  • gweeds
    gweeds Posts: 2,564
    dupe.
    Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.
  • RichN95.
    RichN95. Posts: 27,150
    Gweeds wrote:

    Agreed.I do wonder if the whistle-blower/sexism angle and subsequent lack of new contract means they're looking at a constructive dismissal angle? Speculation on my part obviously.
    My guess is they are looking for a quick out of court settlement, a small pay off and 'vindictation'. Maybe even re-instatement.
    UK Sport may dig their heels in though if they feel that it opens the door for anyone who has their funding cut to go to the lawyers.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • gsk82
    gsk82 Posts: 3,467
    Jess Varnish has lost her appeal against the tribunal ruling that she wasn't and employee. She therefore cannot sue for discrimination or wrongful dismissal apparently.

    Taken from BBC sport website.
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,812
    gsk82 said:

    Jess Varnish has lost her appeal against the tribunal ruling that she wasn't and employee. She therefore cannot sue for discrimination or wrongful dismissal apparently.

    Taken from BBC sport website.

    Well, I am not the least bit surprised by the verdict.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • RichN95.
    RichN95. Posts: 27,150
    edited July 2020

    gsk82 said:

    Jess Varnish has lost her appeal against the tribunal ruling that she wasn't and employee. She therefore cannot sue for discrimination or wrongful dismissal apparently.

    Taken from BBC sport website.

    Well, I am not the least bit surprised by the verdict.

    I wouldn't be surprised if she's egged on to appeal to higher court (if that's possible).

    Out of interest, had this got to the next stage would anyone you know have been prepared to give evidence. There were some interesting things said in Kenny Pryde's book.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,812
    edited July 2020
    RichN95. said:

    gsk82 said:

    Jess Varnish has lost her appeal against the tribunal ruling that she wasn't and employee. She therefore cannot sue for discrimination or wrongful dismissal apparently.

    Taken from BBC sport website.

    Well, I am not the least bit surprised by the verdict.

    I wouldn't be surprised if she's egged on to appeal to higher court (if that's possible).

    Out of interest, had this got to the next stage would anyone you know have been prepared to give evidence. There were some interesting things said in Kenny Pryde's book.
    Ours is determined to stay right out of it and as far away from JV as possible.
    Besides, she has other distractions, now. ;)
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,388
    Probably good news for sports organisations, Less good for "gig-economy" (remember that?) workers...

    Time to let it go now Jess. You were the fourth or fifth best sprint cycling woman in the world for a few years. That's no small achievement.
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • david37
    david37 Posts: 1,313
    ddraver said:

    Probably good news for sports organisations, Less good for "gig-economy" (remember that?) workers...

    Time to let it go now Jess. You were the fourth or fifth best sprint cycling woman in the world for a few years. That's no small achievement.

    It is a long way away from a blow to people in the gig economy.

    Reading the judgement, this case like all others turns on the facts. The same tests for employment were applied and considered in this case. The employment judge decided that the use of funds from the lottery to pay for her coaching and the grant from UK sport along with no salary or pay from British Cycling was inconsistent with being a worker.

    For those that think she might go further, she already has and the case has been considered by the EAT who agree with the lower courts approach.

    Consistent application of the law, and the relevant tests repeatedly show that the law is behind workers in the gig economy. The real issue is getting employers to accept their responsibilities and the very real barriers to access to justice that exist. these barriers which are mostly financial open the opportunity to abuse by employers.

    In the employment tribunal the fees have been removed and and each side pays their own way (largely) but it is a hugely complex process and not one that most people could manage.


  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,490
    British Cycling seems to be yesterday's news for the BBC. It's all about British Gymnastics now (reading between the lines there seems to possibly be worse alleged there though).
  • RichN95.
    RichN95. Posts: 27,150
    edited July 2020
    Pross said:

    British Cycling seems to be yesterday's news for the BBC. It's all about British Gymnastics now (reading between the lines there seems to possibly be worse alleged there though).


    That's actually an ITV News story.

    Brailsford remains a highly prized quarry for the big game hunters of the British sports media though. They've never forgiven him for not resigning when they demanded it. He's their Moby Dick.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • david37
    david37 Posts: 1,313
    ha yes attempted media cancelling. It's all a bit sad