Union welcomes decision, saying it puts dignity at work ahead of the bottom line

Top GearBECTU has said the BBC is right to not to renew Jeremy Clarkson’s contract after the Top Gear presenter carried out an “unprovoked physical attack” on producer Oisin Tymon.

BECTU assistant general secretary Luke Crawley said: “We don’t rejoice in today’s announcement but there is absolutely no doubt that the BBC’s decision to end its contractual arrangement with Jeremy Clarkson is the right one. Physical assault in the workplace is not acceptable, no matter how big the talent or how valuable the show.

“Bullying and harassment in the creative sector is acknowledged to be a big issue. For the past 18 months, following on from the Savile enquiry, we have been working with BBC management to review the Corporation’s policy in this area. The new and stronger policy now extends to staff and freelancers and underlines that dignity at work is something everyone is entitled to. The policy also makes clear that complaints of misconduct will be taken very seriously.

“Anything other than an end to Clarkson’s employment in these circumstances would have turned back the clock on this issue telling BBC staff, and the world which watches BBC operations, that talent can be treated above, and differently from, other BBC workers. That said, the truth is that if any BBC member of staff had assaulted a colleague in the way Clarkson’s debacle has been reported then the punishment would have been summary [immediate] dismissal.

“Today’s decision, at its most fundamental level, makes it clear that all BBC staff and freelancers are equal in respect of BBC policy. The decision is one which puts dignity at work ahead of the bottom line and we welcome that.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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