22 February 2018
B P Collins defends age discrimination and unfair dismissal claims
Chris Brazier (senior associate in the employment law team) was instructed by a world leading provider of high-tech equipment in relation to an Employment Tribunal claim issued by one of its former Senior Managers (C), who had been made redundant.
The claim, alleging age discrimination and unfair dismissal, had significant flaws from the outset. However, the allegation of age discrimination was particularly concerning as the client had an age demographic where over 60% of its staff are 50 or over.
It was therefore critical that the claim was successfully defended to reassure its workforce that age is not, and will not be, a factor in their continued employment. Chris Brazier advised the client that it had good prospects of defending the proceedings and put C at risk of costs early in the proceedings to encourage him to withdraw his claims.
C did not do so and a decision was taken at to defend the claim irrespective of the cost implications because of the wider considerations outlined above.
At a four day hearing in May 2017, the client was successful in defending the claim, received unprecedented comments from the Employment Judge, who placed on record his view that age “played no part whatsoever” in C’s dismissal, and successfully obtained a costs order in its favour.
Commenting on the matter, Chris said:
“This demonstrates again our approach to our clients, where we establish long term relationships and look at the wider ramifications of a matter which arises within their business, not just the immediate issue in hand.
"In this case, we worked with the client to secure a judgment that will be helpful in reassuring staff that age is not a limiting factor in our client’s business and dissuading those that might otherwise have sought to argue to the contrary.
“It shows our commitment to our client’s wide business goals.”