The Lords’ decision in Rutherford brings welcome clarification of the concepts behind sex discrimination laws, says Sue Ashtiany

This has been a legal saga. Unanimously (by 5:0), the House of Lords upheld the Court of Appeal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal rulings dismissing the claims of Mr Rutherford and Mr Bentley ([2006] UKHL 19). To recap, in 1998, Rutherford was made redundant at the age of 67 by Harvest Town Circle, which then went into insolvent liquidation a few years later. In 2001, Bentley’s employers Bodmer Elem became insolvent and he too was dismissed for redundancy at the age of 73. They were both too old under our current laws to claim unfair dismissal or redundancy payments and thus commenced a lengthy process of litigation which has involved two tribunal hearings, two EAT hearings and a hearing before each of the Court of Appeal and House of ...

Jean Yves


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