11KBW’s Harini Iyengar successful in the EAT in age discrimination dispute


Harini Iyengar has won her client’s case in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Cook v Gentoo Group Ltd.  The facts concerned an employer which dismissed an employee by reason of redundancy, failed to comply with its usual policies and hurried through the employee’s dismissal to avoid him obtaining an enhanced redundancy payment should his dismissal occur after he reached 55 years of age. 

The Employment Tribunal had upheld the claim of unfair dismissal but dismissed the claim of age discrimination, and the employee appealed.  The Employment Appeal Tribunal judgment contains an interesting analysis of the so-called “costs plus” issue and the leading case of Woodcock, of the nature of the legitimate aim in the justification of direct age discrimination, and of proportionality.  The issue which has now been remitted to a differently-constituted Employment Tribunal is whether or not the employer has a defence of justification for the direct age discrimination.  Harini is instructed by Robert Gibson of Samuel Phillips Law.  The full judgment is available here.