Eighty-nine-year-old becomes oldest woman to win age discrimination claim

News Article

An 89-year-old woman who was sacked for her lack of computer skills has been awarded £200,000 by an Employment Tribunal.

According to reports, Eileen Jolly was dismissed from Royal Berkshire Hospital Trust in 2017 after she failed to upload details of cancer patients awaiting surgery into a computer database.

Speaking before the Employment Tribunal this month, Ms Jolly retold how she felt “humiliated” after staff “escorted” her off the premises.

The court also heard how the woman, who had been employed by the trust since 1991, had trouble sleeping and was prescribed anti-depressants after she was let go.

The trust, meanwhile, argued that the Claimant was dismissed over a “catastrophic failure in performance”.

However, the Employment Tribunal ruled that Ms Jolly’s case was “tainted by discrimination”.

Handing down his judgment, Judge Andrew Gumbiti-Zimuto said training given to Mrs Jolly was “not adequate” and that no further training was offered.

“The role that the Claimant understood she was performing, she was performing competently. There is a suspicion of the Claimant being a scapegoat, the Claimant was not offered training where it might be considered appropriate,” he said.

“Instead of the Respondent addressing that issue directly and either training her and then requiring her to do the role as directed the Claimant was dismissed. This was because of her age.”

Having been awarded a settlement reported to be in the region of £200,000, Ms Jolly is believed to be the oldest claimant to win an age discrimination claim.

Samantha Randall an employment law expert with Palmers, said: “In this situation, the Claimant was found to have been protected by the fact that no appropriate training was given, which meant she was performing her role competently.”

For professional and independent advice on any aspect of employment law, contact our employment team today


We want to protect you and our staff from the spread of coronavirus.

We would kindly request, where possible, that you contact us by telephone or email in preference to attending personally at our offices.

If you are feeling unwell or have been in contact with anyone who is unwell, please do not visit our offices.

Where possible, please send correspondence and documentation to us electronically so that we are able to progress matters remotely if necessary. Thank you for your co-operation.