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Age Discrimination justified in Seldon v Clarkson Wright and Jakes

  • May 01, 2012
  • By Hunters Law

On 25th April 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that a law firm had successfully identified legitimate aims which could potentially justify a compulsory retirement age. The legitimate aims identified by the law firm and upheld by the Supreme Court include:

On 25th April 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that a law firm had successfully identified legitimate aims which could potentially justify a compulsory retirement age.  The legitimate aims identified by the law firm and upheld by the Supreme Court include:

1.   the retention of associates by providing them with the opportunity of partnership after a reasonable period of time;

2.   the facilitation of partnership and workforce planning with realistic expectations as to when vacancies would arise; and

3.   the furtherance of a congenial and supportive workplace by minimizing the expulsion of partners through performance management.

The Supreme Court found that the direct age discrimination suffered by Mr Seldon could be potentially justified by these social policy objectives.

The case has been returned to the Employment Tribunal for it to determine whether the firm’s chosen retirement age of 65 is a proportionate means of achieving the legitimate aims set out above.

This case will have important ramifications for all employers following the abolition of the mandatory retirement age.

For further information, please contact Chloe Vernon

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