Statement on Jess Varnish v British Cycling & UK Sport

Statement on Jess Varnish v British Cycling & UK Sport

Jess Varnish is represented by Simon Fenton of Constantine Law

In a 43 page Judgment the Manchester Employment Tribunal has decided that Jess Varnish was not an employee of British Cycling or UK Sport.  

They likened the situation as akin to Jess being a university student and British Cycling being the university.  Jess’s argument was that her position was more similar to a professional footballer than a student.

That the Judgment was so long reflects the complexity of the situation and the intricacies of the law.

As the BBC has reported: “Varnish - who is expecting her first child and is yet to comment - is considering whether to appeal. But she can at least take pride that her long battle against the sporting establishment has not been entirely in vain.

Her case almost certainly encouraged a number of other athletes in other sports to speak out about welfare concerns, their rights, and the balance of power with governing bodies, and the control they are put under.

And it is significant that both UK Sport and British Cycling now say they have taken on board the issues she raised and will review the way athletes are treated. The next generation of British sports stars may well owe Varnish a debt of gratitude in future years.”

Jess and her legal team are currently reviewing the Judgment.