An Employment Tribunal has held that giving someone extra work and setting them objectives did not amount to less favourable treatment because of age.
Ms Russell worked for The Logic Group Holdings Limited (TLOG) from 16 April 2007 to 16 August 2016. She held the position of Financial Controller.
From December 2012, Ms Russell worked at home on Mondays and Fridays and worked in the office on the remaining week days.
On 28 November 2014, TLOG was acquired by Barclays Group, which increased the finance department’s amount of work. When the Barclays Group acquired the company, Ms Russell was the oldest employee in the finance team.
Ms Russell resigned in August 2016. Ms Russell brought a claim of direct age discrimination, age-related harassment and constructive unfair dismissal.
Ms Russell claimed that a series of incidents at work were as a result of direct age discrimination and were harassment related to her age. Examples include:
- On 16 February 2015, Ms Russell claimed that in an unscheduled meeting she was discriminated against because she was to be given extra work, which meant she worked in excess of her contracted hours.
- On 12 March 2015, Ms Russell received objectives that were dependent on other departments which she alleged would not be within her control and, in her view, amounted to “nothing more than bullying”.
- On 23 December 2015, Ms Russell was admonished by her superior Mr Henderson for taking an additional 15 minutes on her lunch break the previous day.
The Tribunal rejected Ms Russell’s age discrimination claims.
The Tribunal had not been able to find that Ms Russell was treated less favourably because of her age in relation to any of the incidents that occurred. The Tribunal found that there were no facts from which age discrimination could be inferred and therefore the burden of proof did not shift to TLOG.
The Tribunal attempted to view the circumstances as a whole looking at all the incidents alleged and considered whether the cumulative effect allows for a conclusion that Ms Russell was subjected to discrimination on the grounds of her age. It was unable to conclude that it does.
In relation to harassment, there was no evidence that any of the incidents had the purpose or effect of violating Ms Russell’s dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive work environment.
The Tribunal also rejected Ms Russell’s unfair dismissal claim.
Ms J Russell v The Logic Group Holdings Limited, 27 November 2017, Reading Employment Tribunal, Case Number 3324233/2016