What businesses can learn from the BBC’s sacking of Clarkson

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The dismissal of Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson over an altercation with a BBC producer offers a valuable lesson in getting human resource policy right according to HR provider High Performance Consultancy.

Victoria Brown, managing director of the Liverpool-based firm said that the BBC demonstrated good practice with the swift discharge of Clarkson in light of the incident. She believes they conducted an efficient fact-finding process and executing decisive action based on their findings.

Victoria Brown says:

“Despite overwhelming public and commercial pressure, those investigating the incident found that Jeremy Clarkson’s behaviour was worthy of ending his relationship with the BBC. Investigators disregarded commercial considerations and treated the incident, and the parties involved, with the respect and dignity they deserved.”

Brown suggests others could learn from this example. She continues:

“It serves to demonstrate how important it is to get HR policy right. The easy decision would have been to reinstate the presenter, but what effect would that have on the victim of the alleged assault? How would that impact the working environment for other producers in the BBC? The Corporation has shown good leadership and robust process in order to reach this decision and firms of all sizes can learn from this. Standards of acceptable employee and employer behaviour and a clear understanding of the stages of reporting, investigation and consequences should either party fall short of those is critical for any business to deal with disciplinary matters, whether a national institution like the BBC or a growing SME.”


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4 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Interesting how the Clarkson support has gone a little bit quiet when the full extent of his 30 second verbal and physical assault became known. Replacing him and the income he generates is a huge headache for the BBC, but the decision should never have been in doubt. I do wonder whether those who suggest he is a ‘special case’ would still be keen if it were they who had been on the receiving end. On the positive side, Top Gear can now entertain a fresh perspective to a somewhat tired format

  2. Indeed, a correct and measured professional process and response, especially given the heat generated by the media and other processes like the mass petition. BBC had no choice on any alternative process such as conciliation or mediation.

  3. Be interested to know how people feel about latest media stating that JC will continue to work in other capacities (Have I got News for you etc) having had the contract ‘terminated’ by BBC. Have they truly disregarded commercial considerations or just decided that easier to allow the contract to not be renewed rather than ‘terminating’ it? was his contract terminated or just not renewed?

  4. The BBC are still allowing Clarkson to work on the Top Gear roadshow. They clearly think this is OK if they simply rebrand it by removing the words ‘BBC’ and ‘Top Gear’. That action shows that they have not disregarded commercial considerations at all. Shame on them.

    It will also be interesting to see how quickly other organisations, such as ITV, pick up Clarkson. In the ‘real world’ he would find it very difficult to get a new job.

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