Homer v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [2012] UKSC

2.2. Homer v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [2012] UKSC
Mr Homer worked as a legal adviser for the Police National Legal Database. The PNLD had difficulty attracting suitably qualified staff because of comparatively low pay and no career structure. To make itself more attractive and also to help retain existing staff, it introduced a new grading structure in 2005. In order to obtain the top threshold, it was necessary to have a law degree. Mr Homer would reach the PNLD’s normal retirement age of 65 in February 2009. If he now undertook a part-time course for a law-degree, he would not graduate until the summer of 2010 at the earliest, i.e. after he planned to retire. Mr Homer brought a claim for indirect age discrimination. He argued that people in the 60-65 year age group would be unable to obtain a law degree before they retired. (He did not try to argue that fewer people in that age group would be likely to have a l aw degree in the first place.) The employment tribunal upheld his claim and said the law degree requirement was unjustified.
The tribunal decision was overturned on appeal. The EAT and Court of Appeal said that Mr Homer was put at a disadvantage by his impending retirement, not by his age. Mr Homer appealed again.
By a majority, the Supreme Court upheld Mr Homer’s appeal. It said that it is unrealistic to distinguish between age and retirement. A requirement which works to the comparative disadvantage of a person approaching compulsory retirement age must be indirectly discriminatory on grounds of age. The key question is then whether the requirement is justifiable. The Supreme Court gave guidance on the test for whether indirect discrimination can be justified. It said that, to be proportionate, a measure has to be both an appropriate means of achieving the legitimate aim and (reasonably) necessary in order to do so. The case would be sent back to the tribunal to reconsider whether the indirect discrimination was justified as it had not previously approached the matter in a sufficiently structured way

About truelabour

Investigative Journalist/Researcher for major media. Exposing the truth and police corruption with in UK police service.Certain forces say their motto is Honesty & Integrity One must ask is it lip service or genuinely meant. CO-OP Labour Party member questioning is the party standing for working class of Britain. Trade Union Activist & promoting diversity,community cohesion within multicultural Britain. Anti fascist speaks out against all foams of discrimination.
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