Mrs Miller applied for a position at NSL, a company which supplied traffic wardens. At interview, Mrs Miller’s interviewer stated that she was “too old” for the position and that “people of her age do not have the stamina and leave after three weeks on the job”.

Mrs Miller brought a claim for age-based harassment and direct age discrimination. The Employment Tribunal upheld both of Mrs Miller’s claims, awarding her £16,000 for loss of earnings and £4,000 for injury to feelings.

NSL appealed to the EAT, on both the finding of discrimination and the amount of compensation.


In relation to the harassment finding, NSL argued that the Employment Tribunal’s reasons were not sufficient and were not “Meek-compliant” (referring to Meek v City of Birmingham DC [1987] IRLR 250), that the Employment Tribunal had failed to address NSL’s case and that the Employment Tribunal failed to explain its reasoning for the finding that Mrs Miller’s dignity was violated for the purpose of her harassment claim.

In relation to the direct discrimination finding, NSL argued that the Employment Tribunal failed to engage with the point that the decision whether or not to employ Mrs Miller was taken by the interviewer only, that the Employment Tribunal had erred in both its assessment of Mrs Miller’s credibility and its application of the burden of proof, and that there was procedural irregularity.

The EAT dismissed all of NSL’s arguments in relation to both the harassment finding and the direct discrimination finding. The EAT stated that there had been no error of law.

In relation to amount of compensation awarded, NSL argued that the Employment Tribunal’s reasons were similarly not “Meek-compliant”, that the injury to feelings award was disproportionate given the discriminatory conduct in issue and there was procedural error in respect of the medical evidence.

The EAT accepted these arguments and found in favour of NSL. The EAT remitted the matter for fresh consideration by the same Employment Tribunal.

The judgment is available here.

NSL Ltd and NSL services group v Mrs L Miller, UKEAT/0012/14/MC and UKEAT/0013/14/MC