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Genuine applicants need only apply for compensation
Article date: 01/06/2010
A recent age discrimination case which saw the litigant try but fail to claim compensation from 20 different recruitment consultancies is a victory for common sense says one of the region's leading employment lawyers.
Tim Jones, head of Higgs & Sons' employment department and one of the region's leading employment lawyers, says that the case of 51-year-old Margaret Keane could serve as an authority that a job application must be genuine before a statutory disadvantage can be suffered.
"Ms Keane brought age discrimination claims against 20 recruitment agencies," said Tim. "An experienced accountant with nine years in a senior management role, in 2007 she applied for 20 positions advertised for recently qualified accountants. When she did not receive any job interviews, Ms Keane began age discrimination proceedings against the recruitment agencies.
"Some agencies settled immediately but 11 appeared before an employment tribunal. Six of the 11 settled during the proceedings but the case was dismissed against the remaining five on the basis that she had no interest in the vacancies, but simply wanted to claim compensation. The tribunal also awarded costs against Ms Keane."
Tim Jones believes that the case is a victory for common sense and warns local businesses to be aware of other serial litigants trying similar things. "Mr Justice Underhill said his judgement could serve as an authority that an application must be genuine. We would suggest that any recruitment agency or employer who has a case brought against them seeks legal advice from the outset."