In my experience, the majority of matters that go to an employment Tribunal come down to two things, either the employer has failed to go through a proper process (usually innocently but that’s no excuse) or the employee (or in this case potential employee) assumes that the employer has taken against him or her for some unreasonable reason, such as their age or ability.

The most common advice I give to employers is

1. Have a good process

2. Stick to that process

3. Keep records that you went through that process

It really is as simple as that.

Obviously the MoD have been listening to me (I have worked with them but sadly not on this matter) because they were recently successful in an age discrimination claim in the Tribunal.  The crux of the matter is that a very experienced woman assumed that she had been turned down for a job because of her age.  The MoD had a very good recruitment process (clear and carefully thought out criteria of what they were looking for) they had carefully scored all candidates against that criteria and kept clear records of that scoring.  Even though the woman in question had many important skills, the Tribunal found that she didn’t score high enough compared to others and so didn’t get the job.  It had nothing to do with her age.

Which goes to show that avoiding successful claims is as easy has having a plan and sticking to it.  It also goes to show that no matter how good your plan (and how well you stick to it), we can never give you a guarantee that someone won’t take you to Tribunal but it does reduce the risks.

Kleyman & Co Solicitors.  The full service law firm.  Our words are as good as our actions.