Employment Alert No 184: Tribunal finds that Miriam O’Reilly was discriminated against by BBC on grounds of her age

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Background

The case of Miriam O’Reilly v BBC & Anr is a case of (primarily) direct age discrimination which has made headlines because of its high profile parties, TV presenter Miriam O’Reilly and the BBC. But, in giving its Judgment in the case, the Tribunal also made some comments about dismissal practices that will interest employers.

By way of reminder, an employee (including a freelance worker) is subject to direct age discrimination if, on the grounds of his age, he is treated less favourably than others and the treatment in question cannot be shown to be “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”. Direct age discrimination can be justified, whereas other forms of direct discrimination cannot. That was the position under the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006, which applied to this case, and remains the same in the Equality Act 2010.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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