RSS Feed

Legal Updates

More Articles: Latest Popular Archives

14 year old waitress fired for being ‘too young’ wins discrimination case

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

In the case of Ms H Cassidy v The Daimler Foundation Ltd, Hazel Cassidy is a schoolgirl who was employed by The Daimler Foundation as a waitress on a part time basis. The Daimler Foundation is a charity. It operates an Equestrian Centre at which it has a café and restaurant.

She had been interviewed for the role when she was 14 years of age in late November 2019. She had provided her age when applying for the role electronically. The interview was held by the restaurant’s chef. After it she was informed that she had been successful and asked to complete a starters form with details including her date of birth, National Insurance Number, and bank details. She was told that the first shift would be a form of trial.

Ms Cassidy’s first day of work was 7 December 2019. She was shown what to do by Mr Malcolm Easy the front of house manager. He showed her how to use the till, which required a code to access it. Ms Cassidy waited on tables, cleaned them, tidied dishes, worked on the till, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, re-stocked items from the stockroom, and assisted generally. At the end of the shift Mr Easy said something to the effect that he was pleased with her work. She understood that she had passed the trial period, and would work on Saturdays and possibly other shifts when required. Her second day of work was 14 December 2019.

The tribunal heard that on 20 December, Cassidy received a call from Easy who told her he enjoyed working with her but that she could not continue to work at the cafe. Easy said that the accountant informed him Cassidy “was too young to work there for health and safety reasons”. He also assured Cassidy she hadn’t “done anything wrong”.

Easy denied this happened and told the tribunal he said the role was “too severe, and too stressful, and that she was not able to cope with the severity of the job”. However, the tribunal did not accept his evidence that she had become “unduly stressed”, because it found Cassidy’s manner when she gave evidence to be “calm, measured and entirely appropriate” without any hint of her being stressed, even during cross examination.

Cassidy told the tribunal she was shocked by the call which she had “not been expecting” adding that she was “upset and distressed” because it was her first job and she was enjoying it.

Judge Kemp said Easy gave evidence that indicated he was “not enamoured of employing staff as young as Cassidy” and that her age was a “factor in ending employment for the claimant”.

Cassidy was awarded the lower end of compensation band of £2,500 for injury to feeling and direct discrimination.

Receive more HR related news and content with our monthly Enewsletter (Ebrief)