Do you find age discrimination a grey area?
Direct Age Discrimination: To justify direct age discrimination the legitimate aim must be social policy aims in the public interest, and the individual aims of the employer are insufficient. The Supreme Court in Seldon found that the social policy aims in the public interest are: intergenerational fairness (which includes facilitating access to employment by young people and workforce/succession planning) and dignity (which includes reducing the need to dismiss older workers on the grounds of performance). Not only must an employer justify the imposition of a default retirement age, it must then show that the age chosen is both appropriate and necessary. This will involve considering whether there are other, less discriminatory measures which could achieve the same aim. Employers must, therefore, consider whether an older retirement age would be just as effective. Seldon v Clarkson Wright & Jakes (a partnership)  UKSC 16
Indirect Age Discrimination: The range of aims which can justify indirect age discrimination is wider than the aims which can justify direct age discrimination. It is not limited to social policy aims but can encompass a real need on the part of the employer's business, for example, in this case a need to recruit and retain sufficiently high calibre staff. As with direct age discrimination the employer will also need to show that the provision, criterion or practice used to achieve that real need is appropriate and necessary, considering whether there are other, less discriminatory measures which could achieve the same aim. Homer v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police  UKCS15
Practical Steps for each employer to action
Created: June 11, 2012, 4:11 pm