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The employment status of British football referees – Jeremy Lewis blogs for LawinSport

Steve Conroy was a top-level referee in Scotland for 12 years. In December 2011, he awarded a penalty to Rangers in their home game against Dunfermline. A Scottish Football Association (SFA) panel decided that the Rangers player had dived. Conroy was then given lower league matches to officiate. In response, he resigned.

He brought claims of unfair dismissal, age discrimination and holiday pay. The Employment Tribunal (ET) found he was a worker for the purposes of the claims to holiday pay and age discrimination, but dismissed his unfair dismissal claim on the basis that he was not an employee. On Mr Conroy’s appeal, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) upheld the decision that he was not an employee.

Given the intense scrutiny to which the performance of the modern day top referee is subjected, tensions inevitably arise if a referee feels there is a lack of support from the governing body. A thick skin is part of the job description. But it is not difficult to see how a referee may feel undermined, and that constructive dismissal claims could arise if employment status could be established.

To read the full blog click here.

Related link:  Profile of Jeremy Lewis 
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