Watch this space

Last month’s Case Round Up featured a tribunal decision, in Towncircle Ltd
(t/a Harvest), that the upper age limit on the right to claim unfair dismissal
and statutory redundancy payments was void, being in breach of European equal
treatment laws. That decision is being appealed by the DTI. The EAT recently
considered the same issue in another case (Gidella v Wandsworth Borough
CounciI), where the tribunal reached the opposite conclusion – that no
disparate impact had been established. The EAT sent the case back to the
tribunal for further consideration of the statistics on men and women
disadvantaged by the upper age limit – in particular whether there was a
pattern of persistent and constant disparity. This is set to be another
long-running legal saga.

Earlier this year, the Court of Appeal gave an important ruling on liability
for personal injuries arising from occupational stress in four consolidated
appeals. One of those cases, Barber v Somerset Council, in which the Court of
Appeal overturned a damages award against the employer, is now being appealed
to the House of Lords. The decision, expected next year, will be of huge
significance in this difficult area.

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