Justifying age discrimination
on grounds of cost

Regarding cost as a justification to age discrimination alongside ‘other factors’ involves unsatisfactory game playing for both employees and employers, says Deshpal Panesar

02 Nov 2012

The Court of Appeal ruling in Woodcock v Cumbria PCT [2012] EWCA Civ 330 was expected to provide clear guidance on whether cost can justify age discrimination and other forms of discrimination where a justification defence applies. Regrettably, the guidance that emerged is not clear.

The express legal position with regard to justification is deceptively simple: for states seeking to justify their legislation, cost cannot amount to a legitimate aim; for employers, cost alone cannot amount to a legitimate aim but it can be a factor – a principle re-stated by the Court of Appeal in Woodcock.

However the facts of Woodcock...

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