A former Parking Adjudicator with the Transport and Environment Committee of London Councils has won his Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal after the Tribunal accepted that he had been discriminated against and unfairly dismissed.
Mr Engels commenced employment with the TECLC as a Parking Adjudicator in 2002 on a five-year term. He worked his five-year term and his appointment was again renewed in 2012. However, in 2012 the term for which Mr Engels’ position was renewed was for only 1 year, due to expire in May 2013 when he reached the age of 70 – the normal retirement age for parking adjudicators. All of the other parking adjudicators were reappointed in 2012 for full 5-year terms and Mr Engels believed that the failure to offer him a 5-year term constituted age discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. He therefore issued an Employment Tribunal claim for direct age discrimination.
The matter cam before the Employment Tribunal earlier this year, with the Employment Tribunal holding that Mr Engels’ claim for direct age discrimination was well-founded. TECLC had admitted the claim of direct age discrimination but argued that it was justified for the following reasonable aims: “independence”, “resources” and “dignity”. The Employment Tribunal found that the aim of independence was a legitimate one but enforcing a retirement age of 70 was not proportionate in the circumstances. Further, the Tribunal also rejected the arguments relating to resources and dignity – it found that there was not enough information to enable them to making a finding relating to resources and that, although they were bound by the caselaw in Seldon, that the organisation had not again advanced enough evidence to allow them to make a finding that the aim was proportionate in the circumstances. The Tribunal therefore upheld Mr Engels’s claim and awarded him £6,000 for injury to feelings, as well as a sum of £736 for preparation time.