News and Events

Government to appeal Rutherford

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According to an article in today's internet edition of Personnel Today, the government has announced it intends to appeal the Stratford tribunal's decision in Rutherford v TownCircle (see bulletin dated 23rd August, reproduced below), where the tribunal held that the upper qualifying age for unfair dismissal and redundancy was contrary to the EC Treaty of Amsterdam.

No doubt the government's appeal will focus on the tribunal's refusal to consider the reasons put forward for justifying the disparate impact of the qualifying age, which the tribunal refused to consider on the ground that the reasons amounted to no more than speculation by current civil servants, rather than evidence of fact from the civil servants in post back in the 1970s (when the upper qualifying age was introduced).

Employees over retirement age should be advised to lodge claims pending a final decision in Rutherford. If applicants wait until the result before presenting a claim, they will almost certainly find themselves time-barred.