Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

In Mr David James v Coedffranc Community Council: 1600068/2018 the Employment Tribunal concluded that an applicant for employment had been directly discriminated against because of his age when the prospective employer refused to employ him because of his age.

Factual background in James v Coedffranc Community Council

The claimant, Mr David James, was 67 years of age at the date of interview for a post of park attendant with the respondent council, Coedffranc Community Council. The previous park attendant had just retired from his previous job at the age of 67.

The successful candidate “S” was 62 years of age at the date of the interview.

The application form used included a space for candidates to fill in their date of birth. The panel that undertook the shortlisting process was the same panel that subsequently undertook the interviews; Councillor Wingrave, Councillor Davies Ms Wendy Thomas (Clerk to the council). Ms Thomas had made a note of candidates’ ages at the shortlisting stage. The applicants that were not shortlisted were younger than the claimant.  Following the shortlisting, two candidates were much stronger overall, the claimant and S. An assessment form was used during the interview which was based on a rating key; for each question the candidate could receive up to 4 marks for their answer from each panel member.

The claimant’s evidence was that he thought his interview was going well right up until Councillor Wingrave said “I’ve just noticed how old you are”. He was then asked whether he intended to only stay in the job for a year or so. Counsellor Wingrave then enquired “How’s your health anyway”.

Following the interviews, the three panel members compared the information and each score individually. When totaling the scores, errors were made.  If the marks had been correctly added up, the claimant would have scored 128 and S 126.  As it was on the day, when the panel’s marks were combined, the claimant had 128 and S was on 130.

On Councillor Wingrave’s scoring sheet for the claimant, there was a handwritten ‘67’ by his name and on S’s sheet, ‘62’ that had been circled.

The law on age discrimination

The Tribunal considered section 13 Equality Act 2010, subsection 1, which provides:

“A person (A) discriminates against another (B) if, because of a protected characteristic, A treats B less favourably than A treats or would treat others.”

The protected characteristic relied upon by the claimant is age. In relation to age discrimination, section 5 EqA provides: “Age  (1) In relation to the protected characteristic of age —  (a) a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a person of a particular age group;  (b) a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons of the same age group (2) A reference to an age group is a reference to a group of persons defined by reference to age, whether by reference to a particular age or to a range of ages.”

The Tribunal considered whether the treatment of the claimant was “because of” the protected characteristic. The Equality Human Rights Commission Code of Practice states that: “Whilst a protected characteristic needs to be a cause of the less favourable treatment, it does not need to be the only or even the main cause.”

Conclusion and decision of the Employment Tribunal

The Employment Tribunal held that the decision made by the respondent not to provide the position of parking attendant to the claimant was direct age discrimination. The Employment Tribunal reached an inference that the Council’s conduct was discriminatory based on the following conduct:

  • Councillor Wingrave’s comments regarding age;
  • The note taking of the ages of the claimant and S by Councillor Wingrave;
  • The circling of the age of the successful candidate S by Councillor Wingrave; and
  • The fact that Councillor Wingrave’s decision was a ‘game changer’ with regards to whether the claimant would be awarded the position (the other two councillors had scored the claimant the best marks)

Our lawyers’ comments on James v Coedffranc Community Council

Melissa Chin, a Legal Executive in the employment team at Redmans, commented on the case: “Employers should ensure that they treat all applicants for employment fairly and equally, irrespective of any protected characteristic that an applicant may make – if an employer fails to do so, as in this case, they may find themselves the subject of potentially costly and embarrassing Employment Tribunal proceedings.”

The decision of the Employment Tribunal in James v Coedffranc Community Council can be found here.


Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

    Your first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry


    4.81 Average

    313 Reviews


    Sacha was very thorough and very helpful, with great advice on when to act and when to wait on my case.

    Posted 2 days ago


    I have been very pleased with the support I got from Redmans Solicitors on my case with my employer. Caroline has always helped me to put things in perspective and showed me different scenarios ultimately to help me taking the right decision. She was very professional and always available when I needed, and at the same time also emphatic which I found also really important to establish a strong relationship. Will definitely recommend!

    Posted 4 days ago


    Prompt and efficient response to my enquiries. Excellent negotiating skills with my employer which considerably improved the terms of my settlement agreement.

    Posted 4 days ago


    Very quick and professional service , Rana was very helpful

    Posted 5 days ago

    James G

    Very professional, knowledgeable and kept me informed at every stage of my case. I would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 6 days ago

    Pravina P

    Chris was really good and help solve my issues with current company. I would recommend him to anyone.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Paul L

    Sacha was extremely helpful in my matter. I would not hesitate you use Sacha or Redmonds again. Everyone was very helpful.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Monique N

    I had Mel Chin helping me with a settlement and she was very professional and reliable throughout my case. Mel provided me with a good understanding of what was happening and gave suggestions on routes I could take. My case was resolved and closed promptly although the opposing side were very difficult to deal with. A very big thank you to Mel and Chris.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Jackie C

    My first ever experience needing the services of a solicitor; cannot speak highly enough of Mel and Chris’s personable, reassuring and straight to the point advice in dealing with my settlement agreement. They put me at ease during an extremely stressful time. I am equally as happy with the outcome, as l am their professional services.

    Posted 3 weeks ago


    Really happy with the service. All very efficient. Mel rattled through things very fast, however was great whenever I needed to stop and ask a question! Would definitely return to Redmans if I ever needed Legal advice.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Peter F

    Very helpful and clear advice, would highly recommend.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    William A

    Second time I have had to use Redmans. They did not disappoint. They are fast , efficient and friendly. I have already recommended them to friends and colleagues. I hope I dont have to use them again but if I have to , they are the solicitors for me.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Fleeta C

    Great service with tantastic communications. The solicitor responsible is extremely knowledgeable and was responsible for bringing a timely and desired solution.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Veronica M

    Extremely helpful, starting from a request for advice at very short notice, to dedicating time for me to understand and review all documents thoroughly.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Sophie R

    Very efficient and professional service. Chris was very empathetic, knowledgeable and personable. Highly recommended.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Melanie M

    Very happy with the detailed advice provided from Redmans. They also helped me to secure a higher settlement than originally offered by my employer and were extremely diligent. I first spoke with Chris at relatively short notice and then Sacha dealt with my case. Would definitely recommend and use again in the future if needed.

    Posted 1 month ago


    Redmans helped me with a work related issue, which was resolved quickly and professionally. I would definitely recommend this company.

    Posted 1 month ago

    James F

    Great people, really friendly and professional helped with everything that I needed.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anusha S

    My case was handled by Sacha who was very thorough and helped me to achieve a good outcome with my employer. Sacha was very personal, professional and helped me during quite a stressful time, so I am hugely grateful to her and to Redmans. This was my first time engaging with a law firm so I wasn't sure what to expect but I can definitely say that it was a good experience overall and I ended up better off due to having the help of an experienced and proactive solicitor on my side.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Diane P

    So grateful that I contacted Redmans to deal with my Redundancy Agreement. Everything from the initial call to the completion of the matter was professional, efficient and effective. I was listened to, had everything explained simply and kept informed of every step. I received super advice and the costs were very competitive. I would highly recommend them to anyone seeking similar help. First class service - thank you

    Posted 1 month ago

    Chris L

    It was a very efficient and effective service - Would recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago