Whenever professional sportspersons are recognized as employees they are subject to the employment law of that country. In most countries the law concerning the professional sportsperson as an employee is not specific, but rather tends to be drawn into the framework of the law relating to employment law generally. This has been the case in England and Wales where the law offers professional sportspersons protection in relation to their conditions of employment.
Employment legislation in Britain is generally enforced not through the law courts, but in tribunals specially created by this legislation. Such tribunals usually comprise a legally qualified chairperson and two other non-legal persons, one of whom 'represents' employers' interests and the other employees' interests. The aim of these tribunals is to dispense justice quickly, cheaply and informally. Industrial tribunals deal with matters such as claims for redundancy payment, unfair dismissal and discrimination at work. Appeals from the decision of an industrial tribunal are heard by the Employment Appeal Tribunal and, from there, if the issue concerns a point of law, there is a right of appeal to the law courts.
Professional sportspersons, however, are not the only employees in recreation in England and Wales. There are also others responsible for the running of recreational facilities, including people from managers to catering and cleaning staff.
Employers in recreation range from clubs which may employ both professional sportspersons and general staff, managers of recreational facilities to governing bodies in recreation who may employ clerical staff.
Both organizers of recreation who employ people and professional participants in sport who are employees are therefore affected by employment law. This area of the law is very complex and continually changing. The contractual position of the professional sportsperson has already been examined in Chapter