The Court of Appeal has upheld an earlier decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (further details and the facts of the case can be found here).
In brief, Mr Homer was arguing that the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision had been wrong due to the approach it took to “particular disadvantage”. He argued that the Employment Appeal Tribunal had looked only at remuneration and not the loss in status that he suffered by not being able to get to the third (and highest) part of the PNLD career structure.
The Court of Appeal rejected this argument.
The Court confirmed that at first instance the Employment Tribunal had been wrong in law to find that Mr Homer had suffered particular disadvantage in relation to both status and remuneration.
The disadvantage relied on by Mr Homer namely the loss of status and the inability to obtain increased remuneration was not, the Court held, a particular disadvantage resulting from the application of the law degree provision to the age of persons in Mr Homer’s age group. The particular disadvantage resulted from stopping work before being able to obtain the qualification for appointment. The same result would follow for other younger persons who also stopped working before qualifying, so that the Court found there would be no age inequality arising from the impact of the law degree provision on age.
The Court was also referred to the Heyday case (reported here) but did not find any assistance in this case. The public law case of Heyday, the court decided, was not helpful in the private sphere of litigation between employer and employee.
The Court sympathised with Mr Homer and noted the particular way in which he put his case. Mr Homer may have been more successful if he had argued his case differently and by reference to statistical evidence or otherwise that the proportion of person’s of his age group who did not have a law degree was larger than the proportion of such persons in the comparator age group who did not have a law degree.
Homer v. Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police  EWCA Civ 149