Recent ruling could increase employment protection for workers over 65

June 2003
Management Services;Jun2003, Vol. 47 Issue 6, p3
Academic Journal
The national firm of Solicitors Laytons are advising employers that they could, for the first time, face claims from employees aged over 65 for unfair dismissal and redundancy payments. Lay tons warns employers that in order to protect themselves they must ensure employees over 65 are dismissed fairly and that a proper procedure is always followed. The warning comes at a time when older employees are increasingly being retained by employers beyond the state retirement age due to their wealth of talent and experience. Laytons' advice follows a recent decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal, where a 67 year old male employee successfully proved that failure to pay redundancy payments to employees aged over 65 constituted unlawful sex discrimination. The employee had been told that he was to be dismissed on grounds of redundancy and was prevented under current legislation from claiming a redundancy payment, due to his age. The employee argued that he had suffered indirect sex discrimination, in that he had been treated less favourably than a woman and that the practice, though equally applicable to women, was to the detriment of a considerably larger proportion of men than women, which could not be justified. "Statistical evidence of the unequal treatment must be demonstrated to the Tribunal" says Laytons SolicitorJoy Hankins. The Tribunal will adopt a form of comparisons, look at actual numbers for both the male and female groups and look to see if such treatment is substantial.


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