Accountancy RADAR

Judges should not sanction Age Discrimination

Judge Metcalf’s letter - written before the case was due to be heard at the Watford Tribunal reproduced here shows that Judge Metcalf had already made up his mind that no matter what the evidence presented to him Ms Keane case would fail


Despite this communication showing that Judge Metcalf had pre-judged the matter Ms Keane believed that the overwhelming evidence of discrimination would sway the Tribunal.  Alas the judges had already made up their minds and Judge Ryan who presided over the final hearing affirmed that he agreed with everything Judge Metcalf says here and he said that Ms Keane should have taken this letter from Judge Metcalf as a warning to withdraw her case.

Judge Metcalf repeats the tired old prejudices of the Financial Recruitment business namely that certain jobs are only suitable for the recently qualified - This is simply an ageist view.


London North West Region

3rd Floor, Radius House,

51 Clarendon Road

Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 1HU

Telephone: 01923281750

Fax: 01923281781



Direct Dial: 01923281773

All Respondent Representatives

(sent individually)

Your Ref:

Our Ref:

Date: 26 February 2008



Miss ME Keane v


Ellls Fairbank plc

& Others

Employment Judge Metcalf has directed me to write as follows:-

'The parties who do so are asked to stop their practice of copying the Employment

Tribunal into the correspondence between themselves as this is making the

management of the case unwieldy. If a party wishes to clarify something or seeks

some order or other action from the Employment Tribunal then of course they can

and should write to us, but not otherwise.

There are a number of claims against a number of Respondents which appear to be,

effectively, separate claims, the only common factor being that the Claimant

responded to advertisements for newly- or recently-qualified accountants.

The Employment Tribunal will consider, at the Case Management Discussion on 14

April 2008, listing each of the claims for separate final hearings.

The Employment Tribunal will also wish to consider what detriment the Claimant

asserts she has suffered. She became a fully-qualified accountant in June 1990. In

most .professions posts advertised as suitable for newly- or recently-qualified

candidates tend to be at rather lower salaries as the candidates have yet to develop

and/or demonstrate their expertise and competence. In her ET1, the Claimant states

that she is currently employed as a part-time accountant and puts forward, as her

detriment for being rejected by the various Respondents, the argument that she is

"confined to working part-time with the limited progression that implies; rather than

being able to pursue a full-time career with structure, prospects and appropriate


The Employment Tribunal has several observations to make. First, many people

change careers and join a profession, not fresh from university, but at a later stage in

their lives; it is perfectly possible for a newly-qualified accountant to be 25 years old

or 50 years old. Second. It IS not at all clear to the Employment Tnbunal as to why a

qualified accountant of some 17 years' post-qualification experience who is currently

working part-time, needs to apply for junior positions in order to work full-time: why

can she not apply for full-time posts suitable for candidates who have demonstrated

their competence at more senior levels such posts of course tend to command

higher salaries. Of course. there may well be good reasons, but in due course the

Employment Tribunal will need to be persuaded of that by evidence.

The Employment Tribunal hereby revokes the order for the mutual exchange of

witness statements by 3 March 2008.

Instead, the Claimant is ordered to prepare a separate schedule for each

Respondent. identifying what. if any. additional disclosure she seeks, and explaining

her reasons for believing such disclosure to be relevant to her claim. She is to serve

each Respondent with the with the appropriate schedule by no later than 11 March


Each Respondent shall then either provide the Claimant with a copy of the

documents required or state their grounds for objecting to such disclosure by no

later than 25 March 2008.

This will enable the Employment Judge at the Case Management Discussion to

decide what orders for disclosure are both relevant and proportionate.

Except in so far as it is necessary to enforce the above orders, the Employment

Tribunal does not propose making any further orders between now and the Case

Management Discussion."


for Regional Secretary

cc The Conciliation Officer, ACAS

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Judge Metcalf does not believe older women are covered by the age Discrimination legislation

Judge Metcalf made up his mind before he heard any of the facts in the case and decided there could be no age discrimination where an the claimant was an older woman

Judge Metcalf does against all logic and suggests that certain qualified accountants jobs should be reserved for the young

Flaws in justice system – refusal of employment Tribunal to apply Age Discrimination Regulations when older women are claimants