Just weeks after agreeing a £1.7m pay-off for sacked Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan, Trinity Mirror is on the receiving end of a £400,000 compensation claim from his former deputy, writes Dominic Ponsford.
Des Kelly, above, will be lodging a tribunal claim this week and is also expected to start civil proceedings for breach of contract if ongoing discussions fail to resolve the situation.
He left the company on 17 June when Richard Wallace was named as Morgan’s successor. A Trinity Mirror statement at the time said: “Des Kelly, who has been acting editor in the interim period, has decided to leave the company.”
But it seems Kelly had his contract terminated and was asked to leave.
He was acting editor for more than a month in the aftermath of the fake torture pictures affair, which cost Morgan his job.
His estimated £400,000 claim is based on share options and honouring the rest of his year contract.
Tribunal payouts, where there is no discrimination, are capped by law at £55,000, so Kelly will have to pursue any money above that via the civil courts.
Employment law expert Tony Bertin, from Employment Relations, said: “This sort of thing goes on all the time, but usually employers realise there is a price to be paid for getting rid of people.
“Once someone has been with a company more than a year, employers have to go through a formal procedure to dismiss them.
” Just because this guy was Piers Morgan’s deputy, doesn’t mean the company can dismiss him without a good reason.”