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Unfair dismissal/ redundancy: Upper age limits for unfair dismissal and redundancy ruled unlawful

This report relates to 1 case(s)

Key points

  • In Rutherford v Towncircle Ltd (t/a Harvest) (in liquidation) and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Bentley v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry [2002] IRLR 768, an employment tribunal holds that the exclusion of employees aged over 65 from the right to bring a claim for unfair dismissal compensation, or from entitlement to a redundancy payment upon dismissal, is contrary to European law.
  • An analysis of labour force statistics showed that the upper age limits set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996 had a disproportionate impact on more men than women, amounting to evidence of indirect sex discrimination in the absence of objectively justifiable factors.