EP player wins Unfair Dismissal Case

An interesting snippet of information snuck into my in-box from  the South African Rugby Players Association (SARPA) last night …

Private Arbitrator Louis Vermaak has ruled that the dismissal of former EP Kings flyhalf Regardt van Eyck was unlawful and unfair. Van Eyck, whose contract was terminated after just 3 months of playing at the EP Kings due to poor performance, approached the SARPA to challenge this matter on his behalf.

Formerly with Spanish outfit El Salvador, Van Eyck returned to South Africa and signed a two- year contract with the Port Elizabeth based union. After playing a total of around 160 minutes of rugby at his new team, he was brought in front of the provinces’ Performance Review Committee and advised that his services would no longer be required.

Van Eyck then contacted SARPA and the matter was referred to private arbitration. After a lengthy process (starting in June 2010) which required testimonies from the player, coach and prominent rugby analysts the arbitrator ruled in favour of the player.

The arbitrator ruled that the dismissal was NOT fair and also UNLAWFUL. A further ruling included compensation of an amount of R575 000 is to be paid to Mr Van Eyck by the EP Kings within two weeks of the date of the final ruling.

“This is a land mark ruling confirming that a rugby player is entitled to a fair process and procedure when dealing with his performance just like any other employee in the workplace. Hopefully rugby bodies will take note of this decision and we can avoid similar cases”, says Piet Heymans CEO of SARPA.

I have never heard of Van Eyck, let alone seen him play, but an obvious question would have to be why the hell were the Kings fishing for players in El Salvador in the first place? As a union being touted as the rugby development capital of South Africa, the do seem to have spent a fair amount of time fishing outside that much talked about pool of talent …

Regardt van Eyck

Regardt van Eyck


2 Responses to “EP player wins Unfair Dismissal Case”

  1. dwaynesa Says:

    So effectively if a player doesn’t perform well they can’t be fired, only dropped to a lower team? What are the implications of this decision?

    • frontrowgrunt Says:

      Yep, fair observation. I suppose if you contract a player, you are obliged to use him for the contratced period, be that as a player or as a orange pealer. Sadly, many of the provinces have players on their books doing nothing. I would have them cleaning the barracks, making lunch, weeding the fields etc.

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