On the strength of a House of Lords case in 1997 previous NOTW employees could sue News International for stigma damages following the phone hacking scandal.
The essence of the claim would be that they have been put at a ‘serious disadvantage’ when it comes to finding new work and that being ex-employees of NOTW could cause long term damage to their career prospects. The standard of proof is high however and to win they would have to show that NOTW was a “dishonest and corrupt business”.
The question will also be posed whether TUPE would apply should any new Sunday newspaper be launched by News International in the coming weeks. If it did, employees of NOTW would potentially be able to claim unfair dismissal for a transfer related reason and might also have claims for a failure to consult.
This will be a factor for News International to consider in the context of the launch and marketing of a new paper.
For these and other reasons, News International will doubtless be giving serious consideration to reemploying some of the ex NOTW employees on other publications.