Mr Haslam and Mr Foreman were employed by BN Gibson to drive children with special needs to school. Mr Haslam was aged over 69 and drove a minibus containing several children. Mr Foreman was aged 77 and drove one autistic child. Mrs Foreman was employed as an escort and accompanied Mr Foreman in his vehicle to assist with care for the autistic child. The work arose out of a contract with the local authority.
BN Gibson lost the contract to Oasis Taxis Mansfield Limited. There was no TUPE transfer.
Oasis Taxis Mansfield Limited agreed to hire Mr Foreman and Mr Haslam, but then found that its normal insurers would not cover drivers aged over 69. It therefore refused offers of employment as a driver to both Mr Foreman and Mr Haslam (who was also aged over 69).
Mr Haslam, Mr Foreman and Mrs Foreman brought claims of direct and indirect age discrimination.
The ET rejected all of Mrs Haslam’s claims. She had been offered the same job as previously on the same terms. There was no less favourable treatment. Mrs Haslam had simply refused the offer.
The ET also rejected the direct discrimination claims of Mr Foreman and Mr Haslam. They were not treated less favourably because of age, but because Oasis Taxis Limited was unable to obtain insurance cover from its usual provider.
The ET accepted the indirect discrimination claims. It held that the PCP which put them at a disadvantage was Oasis Taxis Limited’s policy of only employing drivers for whom they could obtain insurance cover from their normal provider. This put those aged over 69 at a disadvantage. The ET held that the indirect discrimination could not be justified. Whilst there was a legitimate aim (operating its business lawfully by ensuring all drivers have insurance cover), the means by which they sought to achieve that aim were not proportionate. Oasis Taxis Limited had made no attempts to find insurance cover from any other providers. Oasis Taxis Limited should have contacted the previous employer, BN Gibson, as they had had no issues obtaining cover.
The ET awarded compensation for injury to feelings of £600 each to Mr Haslam and Mr Foreman.
Mrs E Foreman (personal representation of Mr JM Foreman (deceased)), Mrs E Foreman, Mr LE Haslam v. Oasis Taxis Mansfield Limited, case numbers 2601153/12, 2601209/12, 2601210/12, Nottingham Employment Tribunal 29 March 2013