Car Dealership forced to pay out for dismissing employee deemed �too old�

In a recent case at the Employment Tribunal, a car dealer was made to pay over £10,000 to an ex employee that they had dismissed. The Claimant claimed that he had been dismissed on the grounds of age discrimination as he was 52 years of age. The Claimant was the oldest member of staff at the site where he worked, and was dismissed by his manager after being told that his career was over because he was "too old". The Manager in question had already fired 2 other members of staff that day and was "on a roll" when he dismissed the Claimant. The Respondent denied these claims and stated that the Claimant was dismissed as he had failed to motivate his team and had failed to train them correctly.

The award was also given on the basis that the Respondent Company had not followed the correct procedure. The Claimant was called into the manager's office at 6pm on a Saturday, had a 2 minute conversation and was told to leave the site.

The lesson here is that performance issues must be dealt with through the correct capability assessment procedure. It is key to monitor performance on a continuous basis, and discuss any lack of performance or negligent performance with an employee in a formal environment, you can rely of these meetings at a later date if required.  

Published: 02 Sep 2013

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