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Clarke Willmott secures compensation for rugby players facing sudden redundancy

Clarke Willmott secures compensation for rugby players facing sudden redundancy


Clarke Willmott LLP, in collaboration with the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA), achieves protective award compensation for 167 rugby players and staff affected by abrupt redundancies

Specialist lawyers from Clarke Willmott LLP, working alongside the Rugby Players' Association (RPA), have successfully secured protective award compensation for rugby players and staff facing sudden redundancy. This initiative follows the collapse of Worcester Warriors, Wasps, and London Irish, prompting the RPA to file a successful employment tribunal on behalf of the 167 affected members, including both players and non-playing staff.

The employment tribunal determined that the clubs failed to consult with their employees before implementing the redundancies, resulting in the highest possible protective award compensation being granted to all three clubs' employees. Tim Copplestone, a partner at Clarke Willmott specialising in sports employment law, played a key role in assisting the RPA throughout the process.

Tim Copplestone expressed his satisfaction with the outcome, emphasising the vulnerability of those affected by the abrupt redundancies. Protective award compensation is granted when employers neglect to consult with employees before making them redundant. In this case, due to the insolvency events at all three clubs, the compensation is covered by the National Insurance Fund.

While acknowledging that the compensation cannot fully compensate for the sudden loss of employment and income, Copplestone hopes it will provide some support to those affected as they navigate their future. Rich Bryan, RPA's player welfare director, praised the comprehensive support provided by the RPA team to its members during the challenging period following the clubs' demise.

Bryan highlighted the RPA's commitment to offering legal advice, mental health support, one-to-one player development manager support, and career transition support. Pursuing protective award claims on behalf of the members stands as another example of the RPA's dedication to supporting players in challenging circumstances.

Although the compensation is capped, recognising that players will not receive the full amount owed by the clubs, Bryan acknowledged that nothing can fully compensate players, staff, and fans for the losses incurred. Nevertheless, he expressed hope that the compensation, in some way, would assist the players affected by the unfortunate turn of events.

Photo by Cmglee - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,