Case Digests

 

Recent Cases

Heyday challenge to default retirement age rejected

The High Court rejected a challenge by the campaigning group Heyday to the validity of the default retirement age (DRA) in the age discrimination regulations.

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R (on the application of Age UK) v Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills
 

Large award for injury to feelings

A Leeds tribunal awarded an NHS senior manager compensation for injury to feelings of £29,500 (plus interest) and a further £5,000 (plus interest) in aggravated damages for age discrimination.

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Sturdy v Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust
 

Whether length of service in redundancy selection breached age discrimination law

Using length of service when selecting staff for redundancy does not necessarily breach the law on age discrimination according to the Court of Appeal. Rolls Royce operated a redundancy selection procedure, agreed with the union, which included length of service as one of six applicable criteria in a selection matrix.

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Rolls Royce plc v Unite the Union
 

Age bar was not objectively justified

An age bar which excluded anyone aged 36 or over from becoming a trainee air traffic control officer was held by the tribunal to be discriminatory, despite the employer producing evidence of a ‘long history of received wisdom which purported to show that competency in this stressful position decreased with age’.

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Baker v National Air Traffic Services Ltd
 

Enhanced redundancy payments were not justified

NSCL enhanced statutory redundancy payments so its employees received 3 weeks’ gross pay for each year of service when they were aged under 40 and 4 weeks’ pay for each year they were aged over 40 (this clearly did not satisfy the conditions for permitted enhancements in the age discrimination regulations).

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Galt v National Starch and Chemical Ltd
 

Contractual redundancy payments scheme was justified

A tribunal had to decide whether or not a contractual redundancy scheme that made payouts based on a percentage of gross pay depending on age and length of service could be justified. There were significant jumps in the level of payment when staff reached a particular age or number of years' service.

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MacCulloch v ICI
 


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