This case involved a man being dismissed for being "too old".
Following an internal reorganisation, Mr Court was dismissed on grounds of redundancy when he was 55. He was at least 20 years older than the rest of the team from which he had been selected for redundancy and the external candidate brought in to head the new team was also substantially younger. The owner of the business had also written a book indicating that older ‘talent’ was ‘very, very expensive’ and that senior employees should not be left ‘in any job too long’.
The tribunal found that this philosophy was reflected in the company’s culture, even though the owner had not in fact taken an active part in the claimant’s selection for redundancy. Taken together, these factors shifted the burden of proof to the employer, which had failed to provide an explanation for the claimant’s selection other than age.
Court v Dennis Publishing Ltd (31.7.07, ET case no. 2200327/07)
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