Athlete employment claim fails – Jess Varnish not employed by British Cycling or UK Sport


Re: Varnish v British Cycling Federation & Anor (Case No. 2404219/2017)

The claimant cyclist brought claims of unfair dismissal, direct sex discrimination, victimisation, and unlawful detriment for having made protected disclosures. Held: the claimant was not an employee or worker for either of the respondent organisations (nor jointly under a tripartite agreement) within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act 1996 or the Equality Act 2010. Inter alia, the funding provided to the claimant was analogous to a grant. The relationship between the claimant and the first respondent was much more akin to the relationship between a University and student, where education including teaching, lecturing and other services are provided.

Thomas Linden QC was involved in this case.