Mr M Holden v Roalco Ltd

Kathryn Duff has successfully represented a 66 year old building surveyor who accused his employer of direct age discrimination and unfair dismissal by way of unfair selection for redundancy.

The Claimant was awarded nearly £40,000 damages, including £13,600 Injury to feelings award in relation to the age discrimination.

Background

The Respondent was found guilty by the Employment Tribunal of direct age discrimination and unfair dismissal when they made the Claimant redundant in March 2014. The Claimant was an exemplary employee who had worked for the Respondent for 7 years without ever taking a day off sick. In November 2013 the Respondent discovered it was making significant losses and placed pressure on the Claimant (who was then aged 66) to retire. When he refused, the Claimant was the only employee selected for redundancy, and, following a sham redundancy procedure, he was dismissed five months later.

Age Discrimination

The ET concluded at:

Para 6.1: The Tribunal is satisfied that the Claimant has proved on the balance of probabilities facts from which the Tribunal could conclude that the Respondent did commit acts of direct discrimination against the Claimant because of his age. These facts are the pressuring of the Claimant to retire by Mrs Clarke on 2 October 2013, her comments in a toolbox meeting in late September which were passed onto the Claimant and her email correspondence on 3 October 2013 [in which the Claimant’s manager had told him she needed a decision from him regarding retirement, otherwise she would ‘have decisions to make by Monday which may affect guys with young families’]. The Respondent is liable for these acts of Mrs Clarke. Furthermore the Claimant has proved he was side-lined from the facts set out in this judgment. The Respondent’s explanation for these facts, namely that Mrs Clarke was not authorised to pressure the Claimant into retirement and their assertion of the role of Mr Heavey at Eastcote is rejected by the tribunal Not only has the Respondent failed to satisfy the Tribunal that no part of the above treatment was because of the Claimant’s age, the Tribunal is satisfied it was because of his age.

Unfair Dismissal

The ET concluded at:

Para 6.4 – 6.6: The Tribunal is also satisfied that the principal reason for the Claimant’s dismissal was redundancy but a significant secondary reason was his age. The Respondent did not adopt a fair basis for selecting the Claimant for redundancy. The selection pool should have included Mr Heavey as he did a similar job to the Claimant. The assessment actually carried out by Mr Steve Risley was totally inappropriate and unfair…The Tribunal concludes the redundancy procedure adopted was a sham intended to remove the claimant as an employee and to ensure the retention of Mr Heavey.

Damages

The Claimant was awarded nearly £40,000, £13,600 of which was an injury to feelings award in relation to age discrimination. The Tribunal refused to make a Polkey reduction on the basis that it ‘had no evidence adduced by the Respondent…and in the Tribunal’s view it can make no sensible prediction as to what might have been’ (para 8). The Tribunal calculated that significant secondary reason of age for the Claimant’s dismissal stood at 45%, and thus reduced the element of the injury to feelings award for this act (which would have been £8,000) by the same amount to £3,600.

Related practice areas

For help or advice please call +44 (0)20 7242 3555 or complete 
the form below

A member of the Clerking team will help you resolve your request.

  • This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
  • For Direct Access please fill out the form on the Direct Access page.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, please call Chambers mainline number +44 (0)20 7242 3555 and you will be directed to the out of hours phone lines.

As a direct access client, please visit our direct access page and complete the initial form, a member of the clerking team will then be in touch to discuss the next steps.

Choosing the right barrister for your case can be difficult, with so many to choose from. Our clerks will be happy to guide you with your choice. Their wealth of knowledge and experience will help you decide the right barrister not just for the case but someone who will work with you.

Some barristers have the ability to “conduct litigation” for direct access clients. Our clerks will be able to assist you as to which of our members are trained and accredited to do so.

Please visit our direct access page for the initial steps on instructing a barrister, or contact our clerks on +44 (0)20 7242 3555.

Search

Shortlist Builder

Close

Select the legal expertise that you would like to download or add to the shortlist

Download Add to shortlist
Shortlist close
Title CV Email

Remove All

Download


Click here to email this list.