Don’t take on family responsibilities until you’re 35 - otherwise we won’t pay!

21 Nov

The Court of Appeal presided over an age discrimination case recently and held that it was legitimate to grant additional benefits to workers over 35 as they were more likely to have family and financial responsibilities. The case of Lockwood v Department of Work and Pensions & Anor [2013] EWCA Civ 1195 concerned a civil service redundancy scheme which discriminated against younger workers.

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Family Responsibility

The Court of Appeal presided over an age discrimination case recently and held that it was legitimate to grant additional benefits to workers over 35 as they were more likely to have family and financial responsibilities. The case of Lockwood v Department of Work and Pensions & Anor [2013] EWCA Civ 1195 concerned a civil service redundancy scheme which discriminated against younger workers.

Direct discrimination on grounds of age is not unlawful if it is objectively justified (s.13(2) Equality Act 2010). The Court of Appeal also upheld an Employment Tribunal decision that it was not practicable for a scheme of this sort to assess severance payments on an individual basis by reference to the circumstances of each applicant, and that it was justified to operate a banding scheme instead.

This case sent out a very clear message - if you’re not old enough, you’re not getting in! Age related discrimination can be a minefield for the unwary. Furthermore, running a justification argument isn’t always straightforward. Please contact our expert team if you’d like to check your position in any matter – whether as an employee or employer.

 

Naveen Agnihotri

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