In Kraft Foods UK Ltd v Hastie the EAT confirmed, not for the first time, that the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations cannot be used to challenge differential payments awarded to employees of different ages or length of service when implementing a redundancy exercise.

In this case, it was permissible for the employer to 'cap' sums awarded under a redundancy scheme so that no employee could recover more than they would have done if they had stayed at work until retirement age. The EAT concluded that practice was direct age discrimination, but that it could be justified as acceptable within the Regulations.

Point to note –

  • The EAT stated that in such cases it is right for the tribunal to look at the scheme as a whole and to see how it operates overall, and that the tribunal should not focus solely on the detrimental impact that one provision (in this case, the 'cap') has on the claimant.