Mr McCririck made his employment tribunal claim for age discrimination after he was removed from the Channel 4 Racing team last year, with new, younger presenters (such as Clare Balding) being installed. Mr McCririck made his claims on the basis that he believed that his contract had not been renewed for his position at Channel 4 Racing because of his age; the Respondents contended in reply that his contract had not been renewed because of Mr McCririck’s eccentric behaviour on- and off-screen and that Mr McCririck’s behaviour was harming Channel 4 Racing’s attempts to broaden the appeal of the horse racing.
The matter came before the Central London Employment Tribunal last month, with both Mr McCririck and witnesses for Channel 4 Racing and IMG giving evidence. The Employment Tribunal ruled in favour of Channel 4 Racing and IMG and dismissed Mr McCririck’s claim for direct age discrimination, finding that although there was sufficient evidence to turn the burden of proof onto the Respondent, that Channel 4 Racing had succeeded in demonstrating that its decision to not renew Mr McCririck’s contract was both proportionate and legitimate in the circumstances.
After the hearing, Mr McCririck stated that: “After such a landmark judicial verdict, my failed legal action ensures that anonymous suits and skirts, who control the media, numerous other businesses and the public sector, will now enjoy complete freedom to replace older employees whatever their unimpaired ability and merit.”
Employment law solicitor Chris Hadrill, a solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “In age discrimination cases it is not simply sufficient for a Claimant to show that they have been discriminated against because of their age – the Respondent must also fail to show that any discrimination was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. The Respondent succeeded in showing this and Mr McCririck’s claim therefore failed.”