Mr Homer was 51 when he started working for the Police National
Legal Database as an in-house legal adviser. At that time, a law
degree (which Mr Homer didn't have) wasn't a requirement of
Eleven years later, a new three-tier grading structure was
introduced. Staff couldn't hit the top grade without having a
law degree. Mr Homer's option would have been to study law
part-time which would have taken him four years. But this was in
the days before the default retirement age was abolished and he
would have been due to retire before finishing his studies.
Mr Homer claimed indirect age discrimination; he had been
subject to a provision, criterion or practice which put people of
his age group at a disadvantage compared with other people.
This argument failed at the Employment Appeal Tribunal and at
the Court of Appeal. It was the fact that he was about to retire
which caused him the disadvantage, and not his age. So he should be
compared with people who were coming to the end of their employment
not necessarily through retirement.
The Supreme Court took a different view. Retirement directly
relates to age, it said, so Mr Homer had been indirectly
discriminated against. But the employer has some hope: it might
still be possible for it to justify the discriminatory requirement
as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. That issue
is now with the tribunal to decide.
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Thomas Eggar LLP is not authorised by the Financial
Services Authority. However, we are included on the register
maintained by the Financial Services Authority so that we can carry
on insurance mediation activity which is broadly the advising on,
selling and administering of insurance contracts. This part of our
business, including arrangements for complaints and redress if
something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation
Authority. The register can be accessed via the Financial Services
Authority website. We can also provide certain further limited
investment services to clients if those services are incidental to
the professional services we have been engaged to provide as
Thesis Asset Management plc, our associated financial
services company, provides a comprehensive range of investment
services and advice. Thesis is owned by members of Thomas Eggar LLP
but is independent of and separate to it. No lawyer connected with
Thomas Eggar LLP provides services through Thesis as a practicing
lawyer regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Thesis is
authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
Thesis has its own framework of investor protection and
professional indemnity cover but Thesis clients do not enjoy the
statutory protection of solicitors' clients.
The contents of this article are intended as guidelines for
clients and other readers. It is not a substitute for considered
advice on specific issues. Consequently, we cannot accept any
responsibility for this information or for any errors or
Specific Questions relating to this article should be addressed directly to the author.
In October 2012, the Court of Appeal confirmed that a Service Provision Change ("SPC") TUPE transfer can only occur where the client who receives the service, before and after the change, remains the same (Hunter v McCarrick  EWCA Civ 1399).