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.