As speculation continues as to the identities of the recent glut of injunction/super-injunction protected celebrities I read in the Telegraph that this hot topic has cropped up at an Employment Tribunal.
Two employees have apparently brought claims against a top celebrity chef for unfair dismissal. In the case of one of the employees, a female accountant, the claim is accompanied by one for sexual discrimination.
Newspaper reports are now awash with claims that the chef this week “won” a “gagging order” preserving his anonymity in the action. Whilst it is predictable that the press has jumped on this as yet another example of celebrities having their own way in the courts due to UK privacy laws, the devil is perhaps in the detail.
It appears that it was in fact a temporary restricted reporting order (RRO) that has been granted. Tribunals have the authority and discretion to make a RRO in cases where allegations of sexual misconduct are involved. What an RRO prohibits is any “identifying matter” being included in any written publication available to the public or included in a relevant programme. Accordingly, it is still possible for the case to be reported on but it must be done in such a way that the parties cannot be identified.
Far from “winning” the order themselves, in this instance the application was supported by the female employee, as well as the chef in question. It is though always possible that the identity will be revealed at a later date as RRO's usually lapse after the judgement has been given.