51 year old Christopher Walsh was dismissed by his the local council prior to his 50th birthday and crucially the time at which his pension would be incurred.

The employer failed to find Mr Walsh an alternative role during its management restructure.

Bristol employment tribunal upheld Walsh's claims of unfair dismissal against the council, and found that it had refused to extend Walsh's employment under vital transitional provisions during a management restructure because it did not want to incur his £90,000 pension costs when he turned 50 in December 2009.

The leisure centre at which he worked was undergoing a transitional phase, where Mr Walsh's skills had been deemed of use at least for that period of time. When HR were asked to conduct a review of Mr Walsh’s role and its usefulness during this phase, they instead assessed the costs attributable to keeping him employed. It was off the back of that calculation that the decision was made to dismiss in order to avoid the £90,000 sum.

An employer should think twice before they decide to cut costs through early dismissal of older employees as it may end up costing them far more than they wished to save. Mr Walsh who was due to be eligible for a £90,000 pension is now seeking damages in excess of £250,000.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.