Citation comment: BBC Sacks Jeremy Clarkson

11 March 2015

The internet is in a furore about the suspension of Jeremy Clarkson from the world famous BBC2 programme Top Gear.

Whilst the rumour mill is in overdrive, the statement from the BBC gives little away –

“Following a fracas with a BBC producer, Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended pending an investigation. No one else has been suspended.”

So far, so good – an incident has occurred so the BBC have done the correct thing and suspended the member of staff to carry out further investigations.

But, what happens next? With such a spotlight on this particular HR issue, the BBC need to ensure they follow the correct procedures to ensure Jezza doesn’t have grounds for retaliation – the last thing they’ll want is Jeremy taking action against them. As a high value employee, Jeremy may want to bring action in the High Court rather than an Employment Tribunal.

Head of HR and Employment Law at Citation, Andrea O’Hare, avoided the rumours circulating the web and focussed on the facts so far.

“As a Great British Institution, the BBC should have stringent procedures in place for handling the disciplinary process – the investigation should be thorough and unbiased (especially with strong public opinion surrounding the topic) and Jeremy should be kept updated on the process at every step of the way”.

“Written communication, not just PR releases, is the best way of ensuring they’re covering all of the legal bases, following procedures and keeping a professional tone throughout”.

“Suspensions are only precautionary and depending on the outcome of the investigation, the car-daft presenter could be back on our screens soon”.

“However, it’s important to note that even if the investigation finds he hasn’t committed gross misconduct but some lesser misconduct, he may still face losing his job as this follows on from earlier reports of a final written warning last May and could be the nail in his BBC Career”.

As always, if the BBC is unsure of the correct procedures, Citation would be more than happy to give some advice!

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