Employment Law News

For advice on all aspects of employment law please contact us today.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Login
Posted by on in Discrimination
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 2098
  • 0 Comments

Supreme Court rulings on age discrimination

The Supreme Court has handed down its judgments in two cases concerning age discrimination - Homer v West Yorkshire Police, and Seldon v Clarkson, Wright and Jakes.

 

The judgments have been welcomed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which believes these  judgments will remind all employers of their responsibilities and help make the law clearer.

Age discrimination is unlawful in the workplace, but the law allows exceptions to that general rule only if it can be justified. The justification is if it is a 'proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim'. This test can be confusing for employers and employees.

 

In making the ruling on Seldon, the Supreme Court gave some helpful guidelines on when direct age discrimination may be justified. These are:

  • Two types of aims had succeeded in the courts, those based on intergenerational fairness or dignity. Examples include:
    • Promoting access to employment for younger people.
    • Facilitating the participation of older workers in the workforce.
    • The efficient planning for the departure and recruitment of staff.
    • Avoiding disputes about the employee's fitness for work over a certain age.
  • Once an aim has been identified, it has still to be asked whether it is legitimate in the particular circumstances of the employment concerned.
  • The means used to achieve an aim must be proportionate to the aim and (reasonably) necessary to achieve it.

 

John Wadham, General Counsel, Equality and Human Rights Commission said:

'Every employer must think carefully about whether it really needs to have a policy that directly or indirectly discriminates against people based on their age. The court has made it clear that such policies must be justified on a case by case basis. An employer or partnership must be sure that the same aim couldn't be achieved using a less discriminatory approach.'

 

Comments

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

I accept cookies from this site.

EU Cookie Directive Module Information