Cloisters barrister Declan O’Dempsey represented Peter Willey and George Sharp against the English Cricket Board at Central London Employment Tribunal this week. The umpires brought cases, backed by Prospect union, for unfair dismissal and age discrimination when they were forced to retire by the ECB because they were reaching 65. The ECB said that they need the rule for “succession planning” and to avoid undignified disputes about capability and performance. However the umpires argue that a retirement age of 65 is unnecessary for either purpose because there is no evidence that umpires’ capabilities decline with age in any relevant way and because vacancies amongst First Class Umpires can be created in other ways. The tribunal has reserved its decision.
Picture: Alan Leighton, Prospect, John Holder, George Sharp, Peter Willey, Declan O’Dempsey and Marion Scovell, Prospect.