Have you reviewed the ACAS guidance on age discrimination?

25th February 2019

Have you reviewed the ACAS guidance on age discrimination?

The recent case of Eileen Jolly highlights the risk for employers who fail to provide adequate training for staff, particularly when employers suggest employees are too old for training. This latest case comes at the same time as ACAS have published their Age discrimination: Key points for the workplace guidance.

As employers should be aware, there are a number of protected characteristics which can give rise to a discrimination claim if it can be demonstrated that they have suffered a detriment as a result of a protected characteristic. One such protected characteristic is age.

In Mrs Jolly’s case, the Employment Tribunal found that the decision to dismiss Mrs Jolly was because of her age. The Employment Tribunal had accepted that Mrs Jolly had made several requests for further training but these requests were not accepted as her employer felt that Mrs Jolly was not going to be helped by training because of her age. Further, she had been told she was stuck in “old secretarial ways”.

The Employment Tribunal held that Mrs Jolly had been treated less favourably because of her age and that her dismissal was due to her age.

Employers should be particularly wary of potential discrimination claims as Employment Tribunals can grant claimants an uncapped award if they find in the claimant’s favour. Therefore, it is clearly in the interest of the employer to ensure that there are no potential discrimination claims arising in their workplace.

Employers are advised to review the recent guidance published by ACAS which can be found online at: ACAS guidance .

This guidance which covers all aspects of the employment life, where age discrimination may arise and provides useful examples. While the guidance is not legally binding, failure to follow the guidance from ACAS will be viewed unfavourably by the Employment Tribunal unless the employer can provide a good reason for this failure.


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