The Workplace Relations Commission rejected the employers argument that for "health and safety" reasons they could not employ anyone aged over 65 years of age.
Bus driver James Maloney accepted a job driving for charity “Ability West”, an organisation which provides residential and respite care services to disabled children and adults. The job was part time for 16 hours a week over 2 days.
A month after he accepted, Ability West rescinded the offer. It had been given a copy of his driver’s licence, driver’s car and driver’s qualification card. Mr Maloney was told that Ability West operated a mandatory retirement age of 65 but tried to amend the offer to a temporary contract for a fixed term. Mr Maloney rejected this, stating that he had already accepted a permanent position.
Mr Maloney complained to the WRC. Adjudication Officer Ray Flaherty said that Mr Maloney had established a prima facie case and Ability West did not show any evidence to suggest that a bus driver’s age could affect his ability to do the job required. The WRC said that Mr Maloney was “a competent and experienced driver”.
Accordingly, it found in his favour.