Indirect age discrimination
An employer’s “real business need” can justify a discriminatory provision, criterion or practice
The Supreme Court has handed down its judgment in the case of Homer v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, which involved an allegation of indirect age discrimination. The case was heard at the same time as Seldon v Clarkson Wright and Jakes.
When Homer joined the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) there was no requirement to have a law degree or equivalent qualification, provided the individual had exceptional experience/skills in criminal law and a lesser qualification in law, which Homer had. Later on, however, a new grading structure was introduced which required employees to have a law degree or similar if they wanted to be promoted to the highest grade. Homer could have studied for a law degree, but by this time he was 62 and the normal retirement age at the PNLD was 65. There was simply not enough time before his retirement in which he could complete a law degree and attain the promotion threshold.
May 16, 2012