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Landmark Case Recognises the Value of Older Workers

Landmark Case Recognises the Value of Older Workers

Today the team in the Heron Tower office are excited to present Jim Loxley’s Compensation Claims Update, the first of regular comments from an expert in the middle of the legal vortex that is compensation claims:

A man from Whittlesey who worked locally as an engineer has recently won a landmark age discrimination compensation claim.  Michael Bailey, who is 68, was employed by engineering company R&R Plant Hire based in the same town. On the day of his 65th birthday, Mr Bailey was contacted by letter stating that he was ‘required to retire’. Holding an excellent service record with the company since 1999, it seemed that the ‘required’ retirement was purely on the grounds of age. Mr Bailey was also informed that he had a right to apply for continued employment for the company, although his application for this was denied.

The compensation claim was initiated on grounds of unfair dismissal and age discrimination under the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations concerning the default age of retirement. Initially, Mr Bailey’s compensation claim was dismissed by the Employment Appeal Tribunal as his letter requesting continued employment did not meet the technical specifications outlined in the Age Regulations. Mr Bailey appealed against this, stating that he was not properly informed about having to meet certain guidelines with the letter.

The Appeal was successful. At the Employment Appeal Tribunal, Judge Simon Richardson ruled that Mr Bailey was dismissed unfairly as he wished to continue working at the company, regardless of whether the age regulation specifications were met or not.  It was ruled that R&R Plant Hire had not properly informed their ex-employee about his right to continue his employment with the company. Mr Bailey received £4,555 in compensation.

R&R Plant Hire attempted to have the initial verdict overturned at the Court of Appeal in London. However, the superior court found the verdict to be valid and forced the company to pay an additional £10,200 to Mr Bailey in order to cover the legal costs that had built up defending the case. 

The outcome of the compensation claim might well see thousands of senior citizens across the United Kingdom continue to work on past 65 years old. A spokesperson for Age UK stated that they were happy with the outcome:

“Employers must recognise the value of older workers and put in place measures to help people in later life keep and find jobs.”

R&R stated that the company did everything in its power in order to inform their ex-employee of his rights. The company also said that it felt the court’s verdict placed ‘unreasonable burdens’ on a small business which was struggling to get to grips with the complex law surrounding aging workers. The comments were, however, dismissed by the judges who confirm the compensation pay-out. It has now been ruled that employers must fully inform their senior staff of their right to remain at the company and also show them towards the age regulation outlining the procedural requirements of requesting to continue their employment. Mr Bailey now works for GKL Group in Hampton.

Jim is a Director at My Compensation, a compensation claims specialist in London which covers the whole of the UK. My Compensation deals primarily in car accident claims, but also works with lawyers on most type of compensation claims.  


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