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JPP Law Blog

Golf expert was unfairly dismissed after refusing pay cut but age discrimination did not apply

A golf expert who secured multi-million pound sponsorship deals has won his unfair dismissal claim against the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA).

Scott Kelly was the group marketing director for the PGA European Tour. He was sacked after refusing to either retire or take an 80% pay cut in October 2015.

He took legal action claiming unfair dismissal and age discrimination.

 The PGA rejected the claims and insisted that Mr Kelly was dismissed due to an "incapability" to do his job. The company was concerned about a £1.9m shortfall in his department and the lack of sponsorship from certain types of business.

The PGA legal representative told the tribunal the only reason retirement was suggested was to present Mr Kelly's departure from the company in a respectful way.

He said a substantial majority of senior people with the PGA are in their 50s and 60s and so there was no age discrimination in this case. He added: "It just doesn't make sense to suggest that he would be dismissed at 60 because of his age in circumstances where three other people central to the operation of about the same age remained. That is the most striking evidence about this."

The Employment Tribunal dismissed the discrimination claim but agreed that the PGA had failed to follow reasonable procedures and so the dismissal had been unfair.

A remedy hearing was scheduled to take place at the Employment Tribunal in Reading.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article. To find out more about JPP's employment law services please visit employment law.

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