On appeal from: [2010] EWCA Civ 899

Concerns the scope for justifying direct discrimination on the ground of age and in particular a mandatory retirement age contained within a partnership agreement. The appellant partner of a solicitors firm was compulsorily retired following his 65th birthday in accordance with the terms of the partnership deed.

The Court unanimously dismissed the appeal; jurisprudence showed that a distinction must be drawn between the tests for justification in direct and indirect discrimination. The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/1031, reg 3 (definition of discrimination) should be read accordingly. It was necessary to identify the actual objective being pursued, although it may not have been articulated or even realised when the measure was first adopted. Once an aim was identified, it had to be asked whether it was legitimate in the particular circumstances of the employment or partnership concerned.

For judgment, please download: [2012] UKSC 16
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