March 1, 2019
ACAS has recently published a new guide to help employers avoid Age Discrimination in the workplace. As well as providing guidance on what could amount to age discrimination and how it can happen, the guidance provides easy to read factsheets setting out 10 obligations for employers.
The guidance came too late for the Royal Berkshire NHS Trust who were recently held to have discriminated against their then 86 year old employee on the grounds of her age. The Employment Tribunal found that the employee, Mrs Jolly, had been treated less favourably than a younger person after she was dismissed on the grounds of capability, as well as discriminated against on the basis of her disability and unfairly dismissed.
The Employment Tribunal heard how colleagues had made allegations including Mrs Jolly was “frail” and had “old secretaries’ ways”, comments that the decision maker allowed to influence their decision.
The amount of compensation Mrs Jolly will receive is to be decided later this year at a remedy hearing, but the award could be substantial given there is no cap on the loss of earnings that can be claimed in a discrimination claim, in addition to the injury to feelings award that will be made.