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No age discrimination in refusal to extend PHI cover beyond age 60

The employer ended payments under a permanent health insurance (PHI) scheme when the employee reached age 60, as this was the terms of the PHI policy when she first claimed benefit in 2003.

Although the employer had introduced a new PHI scheme in 2007 which covered eligible employees up to the age of 65, the employee was not eligible to claim under the terms of that scheme as she was not working immediately before putting in a claim.

The EAT held the tribunal was correct to find that the contractual documentation only required the employer to provide a PHI scheme and not to make further payments to the employee if payments were not made by the insurer.

The decision to not cover the employee beyond age 60 was the insurer's, not the employer's, and there was therefore no direct age discrimination by the employer.

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