24 January 2008
Judge wins age discrimination case
The lord chancellor, Jack Straw, has lost a discrimination case brought by a part-time judge who was forced into retirement at the age of 65.
Paul Hampton, 66, who worked as a recorder was retired by the Ministry of Justice after he reached 65, took the lord chancellor to an employment tribunal in a landmark case, the Guardian reports.
The London South Employment Tribunal Office has ruled that Mr Hampton was discriminated against on the grounds of his age and could award him as much as £200,000 if he is not allowed to return to his post.
A spokeswoman for the lord chancellor said that he would review current retirement policy at the Ministry of Justice and the department had been given until February 12th to make a decision on whether or not to appeal against the tribunal's ruling.
New age discrimination rules governing the workplace came into force in October 2006 and have sparked a series of court cases. Lobby group Heyday is currently challenging legislation allowing companies to retire employees at 65 in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
In a recent letter to the Guardian, Chris Ball chief executive of the Age and Employment Network, wrote: "We should be seeking more ways to encourage older people to remain in work, not pushing them out of the door at 65, as we do at present."