Age discrimination payout could reach £1m for council manager sacked before 50

A council manager is set to win £1 million compensation in the largest payout for age discrimination in the UK after winning the final leg of a legal battle to prove he was wrongly made redundant by Tower Hamlets, the London Evening Standard has reported.

John Wooster, 52, was dismissed from his job as a senior consultation officer in the housing department in December 2006 – seven months before his 50th birthday.

This meant he had to wait until he was 65 to claim his pension but if he had been in his job until after his 50th birthday, the manager could have claimed the pension almost immediately.

The paper reported that Tower Hamlets hoped to have a 15 year grace period before they had to pay his pension with one manager boasting: “If he goes now, we do save the pension.”

An employment tribunal found the council had unfairly dismissed Mr Wooster, who had worked for Tower Hamlets for 33 years, and discriminated against him because of his age.

An appeal against the age discrimination ruling failed yesterday.

A hearing to decide Mr Wooster’s total compensation figure is due to take place later this year.

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