Rogers & Norton News

Enhanced Redundancy for Older Workers – Lockwood v DWP

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ms Lockwood took voluntary redundancy from her administrator’s role at the Department for Work and Pensions.

She received £10,900 after nearly 8 years’ service. She was 26. Had she been over 35 with the same level of service she would have received £17,700 more. This, she claimed, was discriminatory.

The tribunal found against her. On appeal, the DWP argued that it was not right to compare Ms Lockwood’s age group with over 35s. Older workers find it more difficult to get a new job, and the enhanced redundancy terms reflected this.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal accepted that argument. It held that even if it were right to compare the two age groups and if Ms Lockwood had been treated less favourably, the treatment was objectively justified. The DWP was giving older workers a financial cushion and it was in the public interest to do so. The enhanced voluntary redundancy pay for that age group was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

A reminder that when it comes to treating staff of different ages differently, objective justification is everything.