News

Age Discrimination Claim

  • March 23, 2012
  • By Hunters Law

Dismissal to avoid pension liability valid in Woodcock v Cumbria Primary Care Trust

Mr Woodcock was the Chief Executive of the North Cumbria PCT and was made redundant when it was merged with another Trust. He claimed that the way in which he had been dismissed amounted to unlawful age discrimination because he was given notice to expire about one month before his 50th birthday, when he would have become entitled to an enhanced pension. The additional cost of that pension would have been between £500,000 and £1,000,000 which the PCT was anxious to avoid.

It is well established that cost alone can never justify age discrimination. Cost is one of the factors that can be put into the balance with others, and an employer will have to show that the treatment complained of was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. In the particular circumstances of Mr Woodcock’s case, it was found that the PCT was not just motivated to save costs, even though the notice of termination given by the PCT was clearly timed to expire before he reached his 50th birthday. However, Mr Woodcock, was geneuinely redundant, the PCT had treated him very generously and he had been given a much longer reprieve from dismissal than he might have expected. In addition, he had no legimitate expectation of the enhanced pension which would have been an undeserved windfall.

This type of case turns on its own facts, and an employer needs to be very careful if it wants to dismiss an older employee where the decision would seem to be motivated simply by the need to save costs.

For more information, please contact Stephen Morrall

Related News

Feb 18, 2020
Amanda Lathia examines partnerships and important factors to consider that will help navigate future challenges
Feb 14, 2020
Gregor Kleinknecht comments on new rules for copyright in the EU in IBA Global Insight
Nov 27, 2019
Amanda Lathia discusses firing employees over social media posts in HR Grapevine
Nov 27, 2019
Amanda Lathia comments on the Supreme Court case that led to Royal Mail employee’s dismissal in Personnel Today
Oct 23, 2019
Gregor Kleinknecht’s chapter on trade marks and design rights post-Brexit published in Winning with IP
Oct 17, 2019
Amanda Lathia comments on the Supreme Court employment ruling in favour of Judge Claire Gilham in The Times
Sep 18, 2019
Amanda Lathia discusses how the Gig Economy continues to shape the legal status of a worker in Employer News
Aug 20, 2019
Amanda Lathia and Polly Atkins discuss DSARs on the rise since GDPR introduced in 2018, in Lawyer Monthly
Aug 15, 2019
Gregor Kleinknecht discusses trading in antiquities in Discover Germany’s September 2019 Issue
Aug 15, 2019
Amanda Lathia and Polly Atkins discuss UK businesses coping with data subject access requests since GDPR was introduced, in GDPR.Report

© Hunters Law LLP 2020 | Privacy NoticeLegal & Regulatory | Cookies Policy | Complaints Procedure

Hunters Law LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (number 657218)