A job advert that said a pub was looking for staff "between the ages of 18 and 25" was both direct AND indirect age discrimination.


Mrs West worked as a bar person at a pub called the “Red House” in Liverpool that was owned by Funky Owl Pub (Holdings) Ltd. She started work on 17 February 2018 and continued until 10 June 2018 when the pub closed for refurbishment. She was 64 years old at this time.

During the course of refurbishment, a large poster was put up outside advertising for staff between the ages of 18 and 25 years of age. The same advert was placed on job website indeed.co.uk and on the personal Facebook account of Mr Coupe, a manager (Mr Coupe did not have authority to advertise on his personal account, and this is why he was added as a second respondent).

Mrs West asked that she be given more shifts when the pub reopened. She raised allegations of ageism but was told by Mr Coupe that had no chance “of ever working [t]here again”.

Mrs West brought claims of direct and indirect discrimination in relation to the job advert.


Direct age discrimination

The Employment Tribunal held that advertising for staff between the ages of 18 and 25 demonstrated an intention to discriminate against older workers by excluding them from consideration for the positions. Mrs West was 64 at the material time, belonged to this group of older workers.

No evidence to support a justification defence was put forwards, so the Employment Tribunal concluded that Mrs West had been treated less favourably than others because of her age.

Indirect age discrimination

The Employment Tribunal found that Funky Owl had applied a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) in its requirement that applicants for bar positions had to be aged between 18 and 25 and that this was indirectly discriminatory. The Employment Tribunal held that:

  • This PCP put people sharing the claimant's protected characteristic of age as an older worker at a particular disadvantage compared with workers of the younger age group identified in the advertisement.

  • The PCP put Mrs West at a disadvantage

  • Funky Owl had not shown that the PCP was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim

For these reasons, the Employment Tribunal concluded that the indirect discrimination complaint was well founded.

Remedy for age discrimination

Mrs West was awarded £800 for injury to feelings.

The judgment is available here.

Mrs M West v (1) Funky Owl Pub (Holdings) Limited and (2) Mike Coupe, Case Number 2415513/2018