The Difference Between A Legal And A Moral Duty
Posted on 1st April 2020
Premier League football clubs are facing criticism after treating their playing and non-playing staff differently. Newcastle United are facing significant negative publicity after saying their non-playing staff, including academy and charity foundation staff would likely be told to apply for the Government “job retention” scheme after 30th April.
At the same time, their football playing staff, who earn on average £40,000.00 per week, are still being paid their full salaries. Additionally, the ever-unpopular owner of Newcastle has still collected money from fans for season tickets for 2020/21 when the last football season remains incomplete and is likely to be so for some time. Another potential minefield for him to negotiate but one that morally, he feels he can justify.
At the same time, Barcelona FC, players have voluntarily taken a 70% pay cut in order to ensure that the non-playing staff are able to receive their full salaries for the duration of the crisis.
The legal line in the sand
Whilst every football club and indeed, every company, has some hard choices to make, it is likely the general moral consensus that what Newcastle have done is wrong and what Barcelona have done is right. MG Legal, your solicitors in Garstang, whilst not wishing poor treatment on anyone, must advise clients how they stand legally – with our heads not our hearts.
Without reviewing any contractual obligations for both parties, it is difficult to say if what is happening is legal. Football is a cut-throat business and it may be that Newcastle’s owner, Mike Ashley, highly unpopular during his tenure at the helm of Sports Direct (which he tried to claim was a “key service”), is willing to run the risk of lesser employees, whose salaries are a fraction of the playing staff, bringing claims against him as opposed to having a mutinous playing staff bringing claims for far greater amounts of money. Morally, Mr Ashley and Newcastle might not have a leg to stand on but, legally, he might be absolutely correct.
How does this apply to the ‘man on the street’?
The rather extreme example above is, just that - extreme. In more mundane circumstances, an employer might be absolutely terrible to work for, but provided they provide the correct training and equipment needed and comply with the various Regulations then there is no cause for a claim from any employee.
The author recalls his first proper job, in a restaurant, where the owner was a tyrant and an entirely unreasonable individual. However, when training was provided on a piece of equipment, no matter how simple, it was comprehensive, supported by diagrams and with a signature sheet at the bottom to ensure there was no way to claim that the training has not occurred.
Whilst 25 minutes training someone how to operate a toaster, or a microwave, might seem excessive, not one employee ever made a claim arising from injury at the workplace. The reason? Because whilst a tyrannical boss might be unpleasant to work for, provided they have complied with all of their obligations legally, there is no legal recourse if you injure yourself.
So how does a claim come about?
Quite simply and please pardon the pun, it cuts both ways; the Health & Safety Regulations, Personal Protective Equipment Regulations, Manual Handling Regulations, Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations plus many more and also various instances of Case-Law protect employee and employer together.
If you have an accident at work, which you believe was because you were not trained, because a fellow employee was not trained or the system you were working with was unsafe, contact MG Legal, your solicitors in Garstang, to obtain advice on the prospect of making a claim.
How to make a claim
MG Legal, your solicitors in Garstang, will discuss the incident with you and examine the causes of the incident and the injuries you have sustained. We are highly experienced in all manner of Personal Injury claims, including Employer’s Liability and so we will quickly identify any potential negligence on the part of your employer.
We aim to accept all Personal Injury claims on a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee agreement) basis to ensure you have access to the representation you deserve.
Call, email, send a web-contact form or see us at one of our offices in Garstang, Lancaster or Longridge and see how MG Legal, your solicitors in Garstang, can help you. Our dedicated Personal Injury team will discuss the steps to make a claim and we will look to get the ball rolling the same d
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