When Can Costs Justify Discrimination?

Posted in : Supplementary Articles NI on 7 December 2020
Ciara Fulton
Lewis Silkin NI LLP
Issues covered: Discrimination and Equality; Objective Justification; Indirect Discrimination

In Heskett v Secretary of State for Justice [2020] EWCA Civ 1487 the Court of Appeal held that although saving or avoiding costs cannot in and of itself justify indirect discrimination on grounds of age, an employer’s need to reduce costs in order to balance its books in response to a public sector pay freeze was a legitimate aim capable of justifying indirect age discrimination.


Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) places or would place individuals with a protected characteristic at a substantial disadvantage compared to persons without that characteristic. Unlike other forms of discrimination, indirect discrimination may be justified

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This article is correct at 07/12/2020

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Ciara Fulton
Lewis Silkin NI LLP

The main content of this article was provided by Ciara Fulton. Contact telephone number is 028 9069 8870 or email ciara.fulton@lewissilkin.com

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