This Scottish case was one of the first to be decided in relation to harassment on age grounds. Harassment under the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 occurs if a person engages in unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating another dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him.

Mr McGee was aged 62 and worked for a debt recovery firm. His manager frequently made reference to his age and during Mr McGee’s appraisal stated “ambition is not a motivation for Joe (due to age)”. Also, approximately 18 months earlier and in relation to new opportunities within the firm, Mr McGee was told by his manager “this doesn’t apply to you Joe, you’ll just be waiting for death”.  

Mr McGee was successful in his claim for harassment, though was awarded just £750 compensation for injury to feelings. This was reduced to £397.50 (including interest) because of Mr McGee’s failure to follow the statutory grievance procedures in force at the time.

McGee -v- Westcot Credit Services Limited & Others (S/133179/2007)