With the story of Jeremy’s ‘sacking’ going viral this afternoon, I’d love to know what has really gone on here.
From what I can tell, there was an incident over the lack of sustinance one night when the film crew got back to base. I’ve seen reports of “an unprovoked physical and verbal attack”, of “derogatory and abusive language” and a “physical attack lasting 30 seconds”. Most managers faced with an investigation report about a fracas between two employees where only one appears to have been at fault would decide there was gross misconduct, given that most disciplinary procedures refer to physical violence as grounds for summary dismissal. Certainly if an ‘ordinary’ employee was involved none of the outrage expresssed on line would be there: everyone would say the employee had deserved to lose their job. On that front, why should a ‘star’ employee be subject to any different rules?
But was Jeremy actually dismissed? Or was his fixed term contract merely not renewed? Clearly these are two very different propositions. If it’s the later then it’s the equivalent of letting him slope off lightly.
Given the BBC shut down the Top Gear series before any investigation could have taken place, Jeremy and his advisers are bound to have argued that any dismissal would be prejudged and, therefore, unfair. Couldn’t they have operated the final programmes in the series without Jeremy to avoid putting themselves in a weak position?
This leads me to wondering if one of the now famously generous BBC settlement agreements (you will recall the former HR Director being cross examined by a select committee on the subject) has come into being? With a ‘gagging’ clause so Jeremy can’t talk about it. I’d love to know………..