Age discrimination: ineffective action may not be legitimate aim


Re: National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) v Lloyd UKEAT/0281/18/JOJ

The respondent Union had a rule preventing members from standing for election to its NEC where the candidate, if elected, would reach the age of 65 before the end of the three-year term. On appeal by the respondent, the EAT considered the circumstances in which an aim is capable of being legitimate for the purpose of justifying less favourable treatment because of age.

Held: if the evidence shows that the measure has been ineffective in achieving the stated aim, this may be relevant to two stages of the enquiry for an employment tribunal as to the legitimacy of the aim: first, when testing whether, as an ex post facto rationalisation or otherwise, the aim was the actual objective; second, when considering whether the aim was in fact legitimate in the particular circumstances.

Mark Greaves was involved in this case.