Employers dump older staff

2006

With less than a month to go before far-reaching anti-age discrimination laws come into force in the UK on October 1, it seems that some employers are trying to dump their older workers now rather than risk potentially huge damages claims later on.

According to the BBC, the charity Age Concern, says it has received a spate of complaints from older staff claiming they have been sacked without warning in recent weeks.

Arpita Dutt, a specialist in discrimination law at the London solicitors Russell Jones & Walker told the Times newspaper: "We are seeing an increase in the number of employees aged 55-60 being dismissed in the run-up to October 1.

"We can find no legitimate conduct, performance or redundancy reason for their dismissal, so there is a strong inference that it is likely to be on grounds of age.

"In short, a ruthless employer may consider it cheaper to dismiss an employee before October 1 than after."

Gordon Lishman, director-general of Age Concern, told the Times: "We firmly believe that a number of employers are guilty of getting rid of their older workers because they are deemed 'too old' just before the new age discrimination laws come into effect.