60+, unfairly dismissed yet over 3 years fighting for remedy

by Scott Kelly

60+, unfairly dismissed yet over 3 years fighting for remedy

by Scott Kelly
Scott Kelly
Case Owner
I am now 64 years old and I had worked for the PGA European Tour for 26 years as Group Marketing Director until I was summarily dismissed by then newly appointed CEO in October 2015.
on 18th June 2019
pledged of £55,000 stretch target from 32 pledges
Scott Kelly
Case Owner
I am now 64 years old and I had worked for the PGA European Tour for 26 years as Group Marketing Director until I was summarily dismissed by then newly appointed CEO in October 2015.

Latest: June 10, 2022

Long Walk for Justice continues...

Hello everyone,

We are long overdue in giving you an update on the status of our claim against the Tour, so thank you for your patient support.

We regret to report that there is no good news. Two weeks…

Read more

We (Scott and Chie Kelly) are asking for your support and any financial contribution you could make to our on-going legal fight against my unfair dismissal by the European Tour. We have been forced into this action, but we are emptying my pension fund and we have our 6-year-old daughter’s future to also consider.

My Case

After 26 years in my role as Group Marketing Director of the PGA European Tour, I was sacked at the age of 60 by the newly appointed Chief Executive on the 31st October 2015, less than 3 months after his arrival at the organisation. 

I had a positive review in Dec 2014, and had a glowing reference from the previous CEO in May 2015. I had successfully concluded a number of important long-term sponsorship agreements for the European Tour and a significant one with Rolex just a few months before the arrival of the new Chief Executive. Yet 4 months later, I was sacked, having had no performance review, had not been offered any redundancy payment, any proposal for retraining, nor an alternative position within the company.

I had simply been asked to retire with an 80% cut in salary and when I refused, I was dismissed without warning. I was faced with no option but to file a case at the Employment Tribunal in December 2015 for unfair dismissal and age discrimination. We had no idea at that time of what this legal challenge might entail.

At the preliminary hearing on the 2nd March 2016, the European Tour refused to consider the judicial mediation process, despite this being expressly recommended by the judge. The formal hearing was therefore set for 10-13 October 2016.  

After the witness statements had been exchanged, the European Tour finally conceded on the 23rd June 2016, that I had indeed been unfairly dismissed but only on procedural grounds. It had taken 8 months for this admission and in this time, I had incurred significant costs for which no refund has ever been offered. 


The Liability Hearing at the Employment Tribunal took place from 10-13 October 2016 and the Tour's liability for my unfair dismissal was confirmed. Following the Remedy Hearing which had finally taken place in January 2018, the Employment Tribunal ordered at the end of June 2018 that the European Tour should reengage me, and backdate my salary payments to the date of my dismissal in October 2015.

However, our joy was short-lived, as the European Tour almost immediately applied to the Employment Appeal Tribunal to challenge this judgement. This Appeal meant we have not received any of the financial remedy the Tribunal ordered, and now, in June 2019, we still have no news as to when this appeal hearing is going to take place.

Why we need your help

We are seeking to raise £20,000-£55,000 to help pay for the outstanding and future legal costs we will incur in continuing to fight for the remedy judgement (which has already been delivered) to be upheld, not to recover any past legal expenses. Our legal team has been very patient and considerate regarding our late payments of fees, but we cannot keep relying on their generosity.

My case against the European Tour for unfair dismissal has now been going on since Nov 2015. The legal costs incurred to date in simply taking my case to the Employment Tribunal total nearly £260,000. Our only source of funding has been my pension pot, but because I have exceeded the drawdown allowance in the last 2 tax years, we now incur 40-45% additional tax on the amounts we withdraw to pay the legal fees.  

This has the double penalty of reducing my pension pot of funds which cannot be replaced. Most importantly, withdrawing money at this prohibitive rate, is completely unsustainable and is now threatening my family’s financial security. However, we do not have any other financial resources to borrow against.

As the European Tour is challenging the remedy judgement, we continue to face on-going legal expenses. We have strong arguments to challenge the Tour’s appeal against that favourable remedy judgement, so we must continue, rather than abandon our fight for some level of justice for my acknowledged unfair dismissal, dating back now for nearly 3.5 years.

We are grateful for your consideration of this appeal and for your support, which is very important to us at this difficult time. Whatever contribution you might be able to make will be hugely appreciated by us all.

Thank you for reading our story.

 Scott Kelly (and Chie Kelly)

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Update 13

Scott Kelly

June 10, 2022

Long Walk for Justice continues...

Hello everyone,

We are long overdue in giving you an update on the status of our claim against the Tour, so thank you for your patient support.

We regret to report that there is no good news. Two weeks ago, we learnt that our lawyers' appeal to the Supreme Court to challenge the overturning of the 2018 Employment Tribunal's remedy order for our case, has been refused. This order had been a positive outcome for our side following 4 years of deliberation by the Employment Tribunal, but that remedy was reversed after a challenge by the European Tour  (now called "DP World Tour") .

It will soon be 7 years since I was unfairly dismissed. The process has been traumatic, stressful and utterly disillusioning. Not only have we still not received £1 in compensation, but the process has cost us 75% of my pension pot.

The greatest injustice of all, is that HMRC continued to tax us at +45% on all our legal fees throughout the process, because I had to withdraw the legal expenses from my pension pot. Not only were we having to finance our legal fees from our pension reserves, but we were charged additional taxes by HMRC of £135,000. The European Tour on the other hand, were able to charge all their witness training, QC legal advisors and other costs against their corporation tax bill.

Just to remind you all, the Judge recommended at the preliminary hearing on the 2nd March 2016 that both sides should go for mediation as “this case was rather straight forward”. We readily agreed, but the European Tour refused categorically to consider mediation and maintained at that time that all rules were followed in my dismissal.

We were then faced with either abandoning the case completely and accepting my dismissal at age 60 without any compensation at all, or taking our case to the Employment Tribunal. We felt morally bound to stand up to this corporate bullying, so we lodged our case with the Tribunal. It was only after we did that, that the European Tour eventually admitted that my dismissal had been unfair (but only on the procedural grounds).

Over the following six years, our case has continued to set legal precedents, which our legal team has considered as grossly unfair. Hence they worked pro-bono for the appeal to the Supreme Court.

This judgement has set a legal precedent in favour of corporate bullying and the use of legal delay and expenses to undermine an employee’s clear case of unfair dismissal. The precedent set by HMRC in taxing an employee's legal expenses at +45%, when those legal fees were used solely to prove that the dismissal was unfair and to win a favourable remedy judgement, is totally unfair.

We have brought this tax issue to the attention of our MP, Ian Blackford the SNP leader at Westminster, and we fully intend to continue highlighting the unfairness of this tax burden on individuals, whereas companies can charge all their costs against corporation tax. 

This lack of a fair process was recently demonstrated most clearly and blatantly by the CEO of P&O, when he admitted publicly that the company had ignored employment laws and simply went ahead and dismissed 800 employees without any due process. Despite that public admission, not a single employee chose to take their case to the Employment Tribunal. The Government huffed and puffed, but no action was taken and the P&O ships are now sailing again with replacement crew.

We will continue to fight for justice through our MP and in the media. We will also keep you updated on the status of the final remedy.

Above all, we are hugely appreciative of your support throughout this grim ordeal. Each of you has lifted our spirits and we have been greatly touched by your support.

Thank you on behalf of myself, Chie and Alisa

Update 12

Scott Kelly

June 2, 2020

Latest Update - 2 June 2020

Good evening to all our friends and supporters,

Today was a good day!

Thanks to your patience and support, we were finally able to conclude the 2 day Hearing of the European Tour’s Appeal against the unfair dismissal Remedy Judgement, which had been issued in June 2018. The actual Remedy Hearing from which the Remedy Judgement resulted was heard on the 11th & 12th January 2018, so it shows how long this process can take.

We thank you again for your financial support. Without it, we would not have been able to carry on and my former employers would have won their case by default. Our legal team were however able to launch a robust challenge in support of the Remedy Judgement over these past two days, and we are very happy with the case they presented.

The Judge again confirmed his formal judgement may take several weeks, even months, but we are convinced that we have done the right thing and we are confident of a positive outcome after nearly five years of waiting.

We are very grateful for your support and friendship.

All best wishes,

Scott, Chie & Alisa

Update 11

Scott Kelly

May 13, 2020

Message to the supporters of our Crowd Funding Appeal

Chie and I hope you are all keeping well and managing to cope with the challenges of the lockdown. These are extraordinary times, so despite the continuing challenges with our case, we are conscious that everything in life is relative and we are very fortunate.

We are not defined by the tribunal process, as we are comfortable in ourselves that we have done the right thing. However, your generous support both financial and emotional, has been incredibly important to us all. Never could we have imagined the costs and the amount of time this process has taken.

Someone reminded me recently of the message Martin Luther King wrote in his letter in April 1963, “Justice too long delayed, is justice denied”. It has been a long, stressful wait since the reluctant admission by the Tour in June 2016 that my dismissal had indeed been unfair.

The Remedy Hearing was finally held in January 2018, with the resulting judgement (delivered only in June 2018), being very favourable to our side. However, our joy was short lived, as the Tour immediately appealed against the Remedy Judgement, and we have been waiting for that session to be scheduled ever since.

The Coronavirus crisis caused the postponement of the Appeal Tribunal from the 31st March 2020, until the 1 & 2nd June. The Tour’s Appeal will now be held remotely, with the Tribunal Judge hearing presentations from the lawyers only using Skype. It will be possible for people to register in advance to listen in to the proceedings by sending an email to [email protected] (Case: EAT/0285/18/DA & EAT/0338/19/DA PGA European Tour v Scott Kelly)

Our barrister feels this process is not ideal from our perspective, but this two-year delay to the Tour’s challenge of the favourable Remedy Judgement, is quite long enough. Whatever the outcome of the Appeal, we are eternally grateful for your support throughout this long wait.

Thank you again and we will advise you of the outcome in due course.

With our warmest regards,

Scott & Chie

Update 10

Scott Kelly

April 4, 2020

The latest update

Dear supporters,

We hope you are all well and spending this time in isolation with your families. We are all well in our home, but we wanted to update you on our situation.

The Tour’s Appeal against the Remedy Judgement of June 2018 was due to be heard on the 31st March and 1st April 2020. Unfortunately, it was no surprise that this full hearing was cancelled, but a ‘directions hearing’, was held on the 31/3/20 between the judge and lawyers only, by telephone conference.

The judge directed that the Appeal Hearing should be re-scheduled as soon as possible, but under the current circumstances, this is not likely to be before June 2020.

The judge ordered that this hearing too will be convened using video conferencing technology with no witnesses present. Interested parties and media will however be able to request prior access to listen in remotely to the hearings.

We can advise anyone interested in joining the proceedings what steps need to be followed. The 2020 June date for the Tour’s appeal against the remedy judgement of June 2018, also happens to be the fourth anniversary of when the Tour finally admitted I had been wrongfully dismissed in June 2016.

We look forward to this matter being finally resolved, and we thank you again most sincerely for your continued support which has meant so much to us both.

With our best wishes for your safe passage through this unprecedented health crisis.

Scott, Chie & Alisa

Update 9

Scott Kelly

March 2, 2020

4th Anniversary of the Preliminary Hearing

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Today marks the special 4th anniversary of the preliminary hearing, which was held on the 2nd March 2016.

We understand some people have been suggesting that we are the party prolonging the resolution of the unfair dismissal claim we have against the European Tour. However, the facts are it was the Tour who categorically refused the Judge's recommendation at the Preliminary Hearing on the 2nd March 2016 to opt for a judicial mediation, as we had immediately agreed to do. Had the Tour agreed follow the judge's advice on that day, the matter would have been resolved by mediation 4 years ago.

At things stand now, we finally received the favourable judgement on  the 23rd June 2018, resulting from the Remedy Hearing held on the 11th and 12th January 2018. The Tour appealed immediately against that judgement and we are still awaiting for that appeal to be heard on the 31st March and 1st April 2020. That is over two years since the Remedy Hearing itself, and over four years since the Tour refused to attend judicial mediation.

The financial costs, stress and plain misery that this process has us caused cannot be adequately described. The delay and legal costs have decimated my pension pot, which I had slowly built up over 26 years working at the Tour. We still have another month to wait for the Appeal Hearing and then who knows how long we must wait again for the judgement after the 1st April 2020.

Your support has given us great comfort throughout this long wait. Chie and I truly thank you once again for helping us both financially and emotionally.

With our appreciation and grateful thanks,

Scott & Chie 

Update 8

Scott Kelly

Oct. 27, 2019

31 March 2020

The 29th October marks the 4th “anniversary” of my unfair dismissal from the European Tour.

We have been waiting since June 2018 to hear from the Employment Appeal Tribunal regarding the dates for the appeal hearing. We have just received news this very morning, that the Appeal Hearing has been finally listed for the 31st March 2020!

It is important to remember that this entire saga through the Employment Tribunal process was set in motion because the other side refused to consider the Judge’s recommendation (as we had accepted), to resolve the matter through judicial mediation. We wonder how this can be viewed as a fair and balanced system? 

It is almost surreal that we now have to wait another 6 months in this uncertainty for the outcome of the Tour’s Appeal against the Remedy Judgement of June 2018! 

We continue to receive messages of support from many people and for these, we are extremely grateful.

Our thanks to you all.

Scott & Chie 

Update 7

Scott Kelly

Sept. 20, 2019

Our current status

The appeal against the remedy judgement filed by the European Tour will not be stayed. 

We are now waiting to hear from the Employment Appeal Tribunal for the date of the appeal hearing. However, it may take several month yet again before a date is set for this appeal hearing.

We will continue to keep fighting into our fourth year, to defend the remedy judgement from June 2018 which is in our favour.
We really appreciate your support!

Scott & Chie

Update 6

Scott Kelly

Aug. 12, 2019


We are truly grateful for all your support and encouragement. 

We finally heard from the Employment Appeal Tribunal and a “hearing for directions” is now scheduled on 19 September. This is to determine whether the Appeal Hearing will be stayed or not.

We will keep you updated.

Our thanks again for your support.

Scott & Chie

Update 5

Scott Kelly

July 11, 2019

+ £35,800!!!!

Dear Friends,

We have been both amazed and humbled by your overwhelming generosity and messages of support. Our legal team has also been impressed by the level of commitment you have shown and we are asking them to push for a date for the appeal hearing.

We are eternally grateful for your support, from the smallest to the largest donations, every single one has been an inspiration. Thank you again! We will keep you updated on any progress. 

Scott & Chie

Update 4

Scott Kelly

July 2, 2019

We are really grateful!

Wow! We reached over £31,000!!! 

We are really grateful to all your contributions, no matter how small it may be, every little contribution is a big help for us. 

Thank you so much!

Scott & Chie

Update 3

Scott Kelly

June 24, 2019

Un énorme merci!

Tchié et moi sommes très touchés par les messages de soutiens et les contributions de nos amis francophones. 

Vos soutiens et vos amitiés nous donnent énormement de courage en cette période très difficile. 

Nous vous remercions du fond du coeur!

Scott & Tchié

Update 2

Scott Kelly

June 18, 2019

Minimum target achieved!

We are profoundly grateful to those who contributed to our campaign appeal.

We achieved our minimum target of £20,000 in such a short space of time! This will allow us to finally pay certain outstanding legal bills.

We are now aiming for our stretched target of £50,000. This will allow us to finance the future legal costs of defending the remedy judgement from last June, which is in our favour.

Thank you again for your support!

Scott & Chie

Update 1

Scott Kelly

June 17, 2019

Half way there!

Thank you so much for your support and contributions! We have reached half way to our minimal target in a week from our campaign launch!

As for our case update, we still have no news as to when this appeal hearing will take place.... This is really a stressful period for us, but your support means a lot to us!

The cover photo of our campaign page was taken at the Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex in July 2015, a few months before my summary dismissal. I had a job which I really loved and enjoyed....

Scott (& Chie)

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