Case law: Tribunal says manager's choice of words was age discrimination

Employers should ensure managers and other senior staff are properly trained and equipped to avoid potentially discriminatory acts, words and motives - or risk a discrimination claim being brought against them, a recent case makes clear.

A 59-year old employee had worked for an estate agency for six years and was then transferred to a different franchise. Her employer was dissatisfied with her work in her new role and held meetings with her in which she was told to take more care. It was suggested that she would be 'better suited to a traditional estate agency'.

She construed this as an ageist remark, and that she was being told to leave the business. She started grievance proceedings but was unhappy with the outcome. She resigned and claimed age discrimination.

The Employment Tribunal agreed the remark made to her was because of her age, on grounds the employer would not have said this to a younger employee, and ruled that there had been age discrimination.

Operative date

  • Now

Recommendation

  • Employers should ensure that managers and other senior staff are properly trained so that they are equipped to avoid acts, words and motives that are potentially discriminatory, or risk discrimination claims being made against them

Case ref: Ms Carolina Gomes v Henworth Limited t/a Winkworth Estate Agents & anor 3323775/2016

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