Why Allegations of Ageism Are Rising; ADVERTISING FEATURE: Partner with Specialist Employment Law Firm Morgan Denton Jones, Anna Denton-Jones, Warns That Employers Face Increasing Claims for Alleged Discrimination in the Workplace
THIS month we have learnt that the Government intends to go ahead with the abolition of the normal retirement age of 65 and an employment tribunal has found that the BBC did discriminate against ex-Countryfile presenter Miriam O'Reilly of Aberdyfi, Gwynedd, because of her age when she was axed from the show.
While workers have had protection from discrimination on the grounds of age since 2006, the media coverage these issues have received are likely to increase people's awareness of that fact and lead to a groundswell of claims An employee who has, for example, been made redundant and is struggling in the current climate to find another job, may also feel they have nothing to lose in bringing a claim, potentially against more than one organisation.
Firstly, like Miriam O'Reilly, they may feel there is evidence that their age was a factor, whether consciously or unconsciously, in their selection for redundancy.
Once the tribunal accepts there may be some merit to their argument, the burden of proof will shift to the employer to show that age had no bearing on the decision-making process and the employer will be closely scrutinised as to how they made the decision as to who stayed and who left in the redundancy exercise.
An employer who failed to document the process thoroughly or who didn't properly consider their analysis at the time may be vulnerable here. …