With the recent reports about the racing pundit, John McCririck’s unsuccessful claim in the Employment Tribunal, age discrimination has been brought to the fore.
The job advert below was recently seen in a Sheffield window. At first glance you might think that it’s a perfectly reasonable way for a small shop to advertise for staff, it saves the expense of placing adverts on line, in newspapers or at the Job Centre.
However, there is a requirement for the applicant to be aged over 25? What can a 25 year old do that someone aged up to 24 couldn’t?
In the same way that it can be unlawful for an employer to dismiss an older employee because perhaps ‘they want to appeal to a younger audience’ it can be unlawful to discriminate against younger employees in recruiting for a job.
Employment law makes it unlawful to treat someone unfavourably because of their age whether that is in recruitment, the terms of their employment or even in dismissing them.
It is also unlawful to have a policy or a practice that is applied across the board but which disadvantages on group of people sharing that characteristic, in this case those aged under 25. The person complaining must also be put at that disadvantage.
In both cases, such discriminatory treatment can be justified by the employer (or here, the recruiter) if they can demonstrate that the treatment in question was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. In this case, it would be difficult to imagine quite why the applicant would need to be 25 or over.
If you feel that you have been subject to discrimination on the grounds of your age, please feel free to contact our employment team who will be happy to discuss this further with you.