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Landmark ruling in ageism case for being too young

A woman has been awarded compensation after claiming she had been dismissed from her old job for being too young.

Leanne Wilkinson, who was 18 years old at the time of her sacking, had worked as an administrative assistant for Springwell Engineering, SMEweb reports.

She claims she was told that she was too young for the job and that the firm required someone older with more experience.

During an employment tribunal, Ms Wilkinson was awarded £16,000 in compensation.

It is the first time, since the age discrimination regulations came into force that it has been properly tested in relation to young workers.

Springwell Engineering was accused during the hearing of relying on a "stereotypical assumption that capability equals experience and experience equals older age," with the tribunal adding "age was the predominant reason for the decision to dismiss".

According to figures recently produced by AXA, ageism in UK workplaces in still common, with one in five employees who retire before the age of 65 claiming to have experienced pressure to do so from their employer.

Craig McCracken, an employment lawyer at Manchester-based nexus solicitors, who acted for Leanne, said that it was an important decision with far reaching ramifications.

“There is often an assumption that age discrimination laws are only there to protect older workers but this case is a reminder that everyone is entitled to be treated fairly, whether they’re close to retirement or just starting out in work,” McCracken added.

Posted by, Asif Yusuf

 

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