Gutierrez v Newcastle United FC: Wider implications for sport and business

In what could prove to be a landmark employment law decision for athletes in the UK, Jonas Gutierrez won a disability discrimination claim against his former club, Newcastle United Football Club in April 2016, after he successfully argued that the club had discriminated against him due to his cancer diagnosis. Members of the sports team at Mills & Reeve represented Gutierrez and were delighted to achieve such a great outcome for him.

There were many lessons to be learnt from this case, for athletes, employers (clubs and federations etc.), those involved in sport and also for UK businesses in general.

Carol Couse  and Richard Santy, who were a part of the team who successfully represented Gutierrez, wrote an article for Law in Sport providing an overview of the Employment Tribunal’s decision, outlining what made this case unusual in the context of employment related disputes in professional football in the UK and touched upon the possible wider repercussions for sport generally.

Richard also framed the Gutierrez case in the context of lessons employers can take away from this case in order to best prevent running afoul of the Equality Act 2010.

Carol Couse
Richard Santy

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