Can cost alone justify an act of age discrimination?
Woodcock v Cumbria PCT
In previous employment law cases there have been conflicting arguments over whether an employer can justify discrimination on cost alone, or whether cost can only be considered if there are additional factors involved – the latter has become known as the 'costs plus' argument. The Court of Appeal has now provided further guidance on this issue.
Woodcock was a chief executive, made redundant after a reorganisation. He was almost 49 years old and entitled to a one-year contractual notice period. On reaching the age of 50, he would have been entitled to enhanced pension benefits of around £500,000 if made redundant. In order to avoid this, the employer gave him notice prior to starting the redundancy consultation process. Woodcock brought a complaint of age discrimination, alleging that notice should not have been served before the start of the consultation.
March 27, 2012