Age discrimination at the BBC

Miriam O’Reilly, the former Countryfile presenter, has won her age discriminationclaim against the BBC, the Tribunal finding that the decision to drop her in favour of younger presenters was age discrimination.  Although the Tribunal did not agree that the decision amounted to sex discrimination, it said “We do not doubt that older women have faced particular disadvantage within the broadcast media”.   Such comments may well prompt new tribunal claims.  This is because under the new Equality Act, claims of discrimination on mixed grounds, for example sex and age together, are possible and, as the tribunal said in this case, likely to reflect a practical reality.  So does this mean employer’s options are limited if they need to change personnel who happen to be older women?  Well, no.  But it probably does mean ensuring a transparent process is followed so that any decisions are clearly justified on non-discriminatory grounds.

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