Bauer Media is considering appealing what has been claimed as a landmark ruling for the UK radio industry after former Radio Clyde presenters, Adrian Coll and Kevin Cameron won their claims for unfair dismissal.
The pair, who lost their jobs at the Bauer Media owned Radio Clyde, 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. Coll had worked for the station for over a decade, while Cameron had worked there for 17 years.
The station claimed that George Bowie, Suzie McGuire and Mike Riddoch were the only recognised full-time employees at the time.
Marie Macdonald of Miller Samuel, who represented both men, said that this was “a landmark case” that could have repercussions for all UK radio stations, which could lead to further unfair dismissal claims being made by other presenters who have experienced similar contact terminations.
“The reason for this is that according to figures from Equity, the vast 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. As a result of our representations on behalf of Messrs Coll and Cameron, the radio industry needs to look at presenters as employees. Perhaps even more significantly, as a result of this ruling, radio bosses who want to dismiss presenters may leave themselves open to legal action unless proper procedures are followed in line with employment law,” added Macdonald.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Bauer Media said that the company was reviewing the outcome and considering next steps, including appealing the decision.
They added: “We certainly do not view this as ground breaking in any way. This was a straightforward case of unfair dismissal. Adrian Coll lost his age discrimination claim and both Coll and Kevin Cameron withdrew their claims for holiday pay. The Tribunal in fact held that Bauer had a fair reason for dismissal, namely the capability of these two presenters.
“We will learn any procedural lessons that may be necessary as we strive to continue to treat our freelancers with respect.
“Every case of this type is unique. Equally, each and every relationship we have with a freelance presenter has its own set of circumstances.
“Therefore we see no direct parallels between this and other cases nor do we feel it will have far-reaching implications for the industry.”
The next step will see a date set for compensation to be decided as a result of the ruling.