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Justifying direct age discrimination

by on February 8, 2013

Another ruling from the Employment Appeal Tribunal on a claim for direct age discrimination brought by a former employee of the Dept for Work & Pensions. Miss Lockwood was made redundant when she was 26 under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme. This gave differential payouts on redundancy based on the worker’s age. Those over 35 received more.

As we’ve noted in other cases,  direct age discrimination is lawful where the person’s treatment is ‘objectively and reasonably justified by a legitimate aim’ and the means of achieving that aim are “appropriate and necessary”.

The basis of the judgment is interesting. The Tribunal ruled that higher redundancy payments made to workers over the age of 35 were not discriminatory because they reflected ‘the comparative difficulty of loss of employment suffered by the older workers (finding another job; family financial commitments) when compared with those in the younger age group’.

A copy of the judgment can be downloaded from this link.

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