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When choosing a younger job candidate does not amount to discrimination

The claimant was 51 years old and brought a claim for age discrimination when the employer gave the job to another applicant aged 29. An Employment Tribunal held that an employer had not discriminated against an older, more qualified job candidate by selecting a younger, less qualified candidate for the role.

The tribunal took into account the fact that the other candidate had scored higher, that the claimant’s skills were beyond what was needed and his expectations of the development of the role would not be possible due to the constraints of the role.

The Tribunal also found that the reason for not appointing him to the role were that his “previous senior roles, high-level qualifications and extensive experience might unbalance the marketing team and undermine other team members whose qualifications and experience were of a much lesser order”. Further, he may have become frustrated with the role (due to the limited scope for career progression) and left the business. These reasons were, in the opinion of the Employment Tribunal, plausible and non-discriminatory.

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