Despite seeking a “dynamic young accountant”, SPG was found not to have discriminated on the grounds of age in their recruitment.

Facts and decision

Mr Montgomery was 53 and applied for the role of qualified accountant. The employer stated it was "an opportunity for a dynamic young accountant to grow with a rapidly expanding group with a high public profile” – the words having been copied from a previous job advertisement some years ago.

Mr Montgomery was not shortlisted and brought a claim for both direct and indirect age discrimination.

SPG was able to show that age was not a reason for Mr Montgomery’s failure to be shortlisted. In fact a 58 year old was shortlisted and the employer had received applications from those in their 40s, 50s and 60s. Although the Tribunal found that the advert was “indicative of discrimination”, age was not a factor in determining who to shortlist. Because of this, there was no provision criterion or practice and so Mr Montgomery also failed in his indirect discrimination claim.

Though no discrimination was found to have taken place in this case, the tribunal warned SPG over their failure to have equalities policies in place.

Montgomery -v- Sellar Property Group and others (ET/2201918/08)