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Comparators in age discrimination claim
In Donkor v Royal Bank of Scotland, the EAT has looked at the question of comparators in a claim for direct age discrimination.
One employee who was aged over 50 was not allowed to apply for voluntary redundancy during a reorganisation. However, two employees who were aged under 50 applied successfully for voluntary redundancy. The over 50 year old was allowed to compare his treatment with these two individuals. Employees over 50 were entitled to early retirement benefits under the pension scheme, which made their severance cost much higher than for those below 50. The EAT held that this was not a “relevant circumstance” which could render the comparison invalid. It held that as the extra cost of the severance was a direct result of the employee’s age it was, on the face of it, direct discrimination for the employer to have taken this into account. The case has been remitted back to the Tribunal to determine whether or not the employer’s actions were objectively justified.
For further details on any of the issues covered in this update please contact Gemma Ospedale, Partner in Employment on 020 7583 2222.
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