An employment appeal tribunal has this week seen 16 employees of one south-east council winning an age discrimination campaign, it is reported.
According to LocalGov.co.uk, the staff from Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council claimed that criteria included in the local authority’s long service award scheme was an unlawful breach of Age Discrimination Regulations.
The council’s scheme was used to provide financial benefits to anyone who had been working there for 25 continuous years and who was aged over 55.
However, once the initiative was withdrawn, the claimants, who had been working at the council for over 25 years, were below the age criteria.
While the first claim in March 2008 was unanimously dismissed by Stratford Employment Tribunal, the 16 employees this week proved successful.
Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison – which took the case to the Employment Appeal Tribunal – said: "This is a victory for any worker who is told that long service is rewarded by age, as this case has shown that it is a breach against regulations."
He added that age discrimination is "totally unacceptable".
A recent study from the Institute for Employment Studies and the Policy Studies Institute revealed that a little over half of UK employers claim to have a pro-age recruitment policy in place.