Discrimination resulted in a pay-out of over £71,000

A company sales director whose middle-aged boss told him he did not want to hire a ‘team of bald-headed 50-year-old men’ has won more than £70,000 in an age discrimination case.

The 61 year old Claimant told a tribunal that his employer had complained about a lack of workplace diversity before pushing him out of his job. The employer likened the workforce to a “team of bald-headed 50 year old men”.

The Claimant stated that he was being systematically pushed out of his £60,000 a year job, and stated that he believed there was a plan to remove him prior to him acquiring employment rights after two years’ service.

He was put on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) and this resulted in the Claimant raising a grievance which was not upheld.

When the Claimant was put on a ‘sham’ performance improvement plan (PIP), he raised a grievance which was not upheld.  The Claimant felt so badly treated that he resigned, raising a claim of discrimination.

The tribunal concluded that the Claimant was perceived as un-dynamic and that his employer had described desirable colleagues or candidates as ‘high energy’, ‘energetic’ and ‘youthful’ – not attributes typically associated with middle-aged men.

The tribunal ruled that the Claimant’s grievance had not been dealt with ‘impartially’ and there had not been ‘any kind of adequate investigation’. They found no basis for deciding to dismiss the Claimant and that he had been replaced by at least one younger person doing the same job.

The tribunal concluded that, whether consciously or unconsciously, the employer perceived the Claimant as un-dynamic and associated more dynamic people with the characteristics of younger people.

The claim resulted in a total award of £71,441.

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