Sargeant & Ors v London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority & Ors UKEAT/0116/17/LA
Appeal against a decision that the treatment of the Claimants by the transitional provisions included in the Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2015 was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim and, accordingly, the claims of direct age discrimination failed. Appeal allowed.
The claims which the Tribunal dismissed concerned the transitional provisions contained within the Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2015 (NFPA) and the Firefighters' Pension Scheme (Wales) 2015. The 5 Claimants were the lead Claimants in the litigation, the first 4 Respondents were the relevant employing Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRAs) and the 5th and 6th Respondents were the relevant Government departments which are responsible under the Public Services Pensions Act 2013 for establishing Schemes for the payment of pensions to Firefighters in England and Wales. The Claimants' claim for age discrimination before the ET was on the basis that the effect of a change in the pension arrangements, coupled with their exclusion, on grounds of age, from the protection given by the transitional provisions meant that they were less favourably treated because of their age than those who fell within the fully protected or the partially protected group and that such less favourable treatment did not fall within the defence provided by section 13(2) of the 2010 Act. The ET's decision was that the treatment of the Claimants by the transitional provisions was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. The Claimants appealed.
The EAT allowed the appeal. The Employment Tribunal did not err in law in concluding that the 5th and 6th Respondents were pursuing legitimate aims in devising and implementing the transitional arrangements in respect of the new pension scheme even though they had a discriminatory impact on grounds of age; but the ET had erred in law in applying, on the issue of proportionality, only the level of scrutiny described in the decisions of the ECJ and the CJEU and by declining to apply the level of scrutiny described in the domestic case law.
Published: 01/02/2018 11:54