News and Events

Age Discrimination

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[Thanks to Lionel Stride of Temple Garden Chambers for providing this case summary]

The Court of Appeal has handed down its decision in Homer v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, which is authority for the proposition that requiring an employee to hold a degree in order to qualify for a higher pay grade did not amount to indirect age discrimination in respect of an employee who would not have time to obtain such a qualification before retirement. This was on the basis that the particular disadvantage to the employee flowed from the fact of his imminent retirement rather than his age.

However, all is not necessarily lost for claimants on the issue. H, a 61-year old legal adviser, had argued that a requirement that employees obtain a law degree before attaining the highest pay scale was intrinsically discriminatory, which was a question of law. As noted by both the CA and EAT, no factual evidence was presented to show that those in H's age group would be less likely to have a law degree, or would find it harder to meet the requirement. Such arguments therefore remain open if such evidence can be obtained.