chester

Chester 01244 405 555

Grosvenor Court
Foregate Street Chester
Cheshire CH1 1HG
DX: 19990 Chester

shrewsbury

Shrewsbury 01743 443043

Lakeside House
Oxon Business Park
Shrewsbury SY3 5HJ
DX: 148563 Shrewsbury 14

Greater Manchester 0333 241 6886

Kennedy House,
31 Stamford St,
Altrincham WA14 1ES

18th December, 2013

Channel 4 did not discriminate against John McCririck


The recent case of McCririck v Channel 4 Television Corporation ET/2200478/2013 in which it was held that Channel 4 had not directly discriminated against Mr McCririck on the ground of his age, has attracted much media attention due to the high-profile claimant involved.

During his long television career, spanning over 30 years, Mr McCririck had become well known for presenting horse racing on Channel 4, along with appearing on various reality shows, his unique dress sense and controversial presentation style.

Since 2008, Channel 4 gradually decreased Mr McCririck’s presenting days until September 2012 when they received results of a survey which found that Mr McCririck was rather unpopular with the public, in comparison to various other television presenters also included in the survey. Channel 4 then removed Mr McCririck, at the time aged 72, from their broadcast of horse racing. It is notable that they did however, retain Ms Stevenson who was aged 42.

Mr McCririck brought a claim for direct age discrimination, however he could not bring an unfair dismissal claim as he was not an employee of Channel 4.

Under section 13(1) of the Equality Act 2010, direct age discrimination occurs where, because of age, A treats B less favourably than A treats or would treat others. There will be no direct age discrimination where A can show that its treatment of B is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim (section 13(2), Equality Act 2010). In a discrimination claim, the initial burden of proof rests with the claimant to prove a prima facie case of discrimination which the respondent then has to defend.

In this case, the Tribunal decided that the burden of proof had shifted to Channel 4 as Mr McCririck’s contract was terminated, whilst Ms Stevenson was retained and all of the presenters whose contracts were terminated during the same process were over the age of 50.

The passing of the burden of proof onto Channel 4 did not help Mr McCririck in this case and in dismissing his claim, it was held that Mr McCririck had not been directly discriminated against. The Tribunal could not find that Channel 4 had removed Mr McCririck due to his age and as such moved on to question whether Channel 4’s treatment could be described as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

Channel 4 asserted that their aim was to attract a wider audience to horse racing, which was held to be a legitimate aim and it was also held that Channel 4’s actions were a proportionate means of achieving that aim.

For further information and advice in relation to age discrimination, please contact Claire Brook on 01244 405575 or send an email to [email protected].



Contact Us

You might also be interested in...

A Sponsor Licence and Skilled Workers: Employing overseas nationals

22nd November, 2022

With a growing labour shortage in the UK, it is becoming more prevalent for UK businesses to begin... Read More »

Health and Care Worker

Routes to the UK: The Health and Care Worker Visa

22nd November, 2022

It is well reported that the UK has been experiencing labour shortages in the health sector for a... Read More »

The World Cup 2022: HR and employment law issues employers may face

18th November, 2022

With the 2022 FIFA World Cup just around the corner, and a month of football ahead, our employment... Read More »

Contact Us