The controversy surrounding length of service criterion in redundancy selection procedures has at last been put to bed.

  • The High Court has held that using length of service as one of the criteria for redundancy selection is not unlawful age discrimination.
  • A redundancy selection procedure which takes account of length of service is indirectly discriminatory on the basis of age.
  • The High Court has however found that it can be justified because it achieves the legitimate aim of carrying out redundancies in a peaceful and fair manner.
  • In addition, it was found that length of service criterion in redundancy procedures could arguably be exempted from the age discrimination legislation under the service-related benefits exemption.

Rolls Royce plc v Unite the Union. High Court, 2008 EWHC 2420