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No age discrimination where applicant has no interest in job

No age discrimination where applicant has no interest in job
In Keane v Investigo and ors, the EAT has held that a job application must be genuine before any detriment under the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 can be suffered. Therefore, where a claimant did not genuinely want the jobs she applied for, she did not suffer age discrimination when her applications were rejected.

Ms Keane, a 51 year old accountant, applied for 20 jobs for which she was over qualified. She targeted adverts aimed at recruiting newly qualified accountants, with limited experience. She lodged age discrimination claims against the 11 agencies who rejected her applications, six of whom settled. But five proceeded to a full hearing. The tribunal dismissed Ms Keane’s claims. None of the agencies concerned had committed an act of age discrimination. Furthermore, none of the applications had been genuine and Ms Keane’s representative had conceded that if it was found that Ms Keane had not been genuinely interested in the jobs she had applied for, she could not have suffered a detriment.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal rejected Ms Keane’s appeal. The finding that the applications were not genuine was not perverse given the evidence, nor was the finding that Ms Keane had made the applications with an ulterior motive. As Ms Keane had no genuine interest in the jobs she had applied for, she could not have suffered a detriment under the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations by being rejected, even if the advert could be found to be indirectly discriminatory. The tribunal had also been right to order Ms Keane to pay the employer’s costs.

 

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