Labour & European Law Review
14 June 2012
The government confirmed on Monday that it will include an innocuous-sounding clause in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill to allow the introduction of “settlement agreements”.
Unlike other discrimination legislation, the age regulations 2006 (now part of the Equality Act 2010) allows employers to justify direct age discrimination. In Seldon v Clarkson Wright and Jakes (a partnership), the Supreme Court ruled that it can only be justified if the employer can show that their aim had a legitimate objective of a “public interest nature”, which could be distinguished from purely individual reasons.
It is indirectly discriminatory for employers to apply a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) which is applied equally to everyone but which, in reality, puts people of a certain age group at a disadvantage. In Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police v Homer, the Supreme Court held that a requirement to have a law degree discriminated against people in the 60 to 65 age group.