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Age discrimination award following attempted replacement with ‘fit young blonde’

by on November 30, 2015

The Telegraph reports here on a claim for age discrimination brought by a the former female funeral director (Roz Perrin) against a firm of undertakers (F Christophers and Son Ltd). The latter are described as a small Devon-based family run funeral director business. At the material time, Jon Christophers was running the firm but he no longer works there, having cost the business £30, 000. This was the amount of the award made to Ms Perrin whom he told he was going to replace with a ‘young fit blonde‘.

This statement seems to have been part of a wider range of behaviour that, according to one staff witness, included ‘belittl[ing] Roz in front of clients, mak[ing] promises he couldn’t keep, miss[ing] deadlines and leav[ing] Roz to make the apologies and deal with the wrath of clients‘.

Ms Perrin was dismissed from her job and has now received the compensation awarded. The firm had appealed against her award which in fact was not just for age discrimination but also for unfair dismissal and sex discrimination but the firm’s appeal was unsucessful.

This shows the often complex way in which age and gender are intertwined in these cases. Apparently Mr Christophers was overheard on the phone complaining that his female staff “don’t submit to me – that’s the problem – all women should submit to me”, suggesting that gender was indeed as much as a factor as age in this claim.

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