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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49806
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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New manager made a seating arrangement by placing

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new manager made a seating arrangement by placing middle-aged people to seat far at the back of the office so that no one can see them and said that he can not sit next to them because they smell. They are well-dressed people and they don't smell. I found this comment offensive and discriminating aginst their age. What do I do?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Have you raised this with anyone else within the organisation?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not yet.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court for the rest of today so will prepare my advice in a while and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. This could indeed be potential age discrimination by placing a particular age group (i.e. middle aged people) at a particular disadvantage when compared to other groups. What you can do about this very much depends on whether you are one of these affected people or just an outsider. If you are one of the middle aged people concerned then you may certainly consider taking this further by firstly raising a formal grievance against this manager. If you can all go in as a group when you raise the grievance then it may be more effective but it certainly does not have to be that way.

If the grievance does not resolve matters then the next step is a claim for age discrimination in the employment tribunal. You only have 3 months from the date of the discriminatory act to make the claim so time is relatively short but it is an option should you require it.

Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the tribunal claims process. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you. If you wanted to take this to tribunal as an age discrimination claim then as mentioned you must do this within 3 months of the alleged discriminatory act taking place.

A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal.

If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement.

The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here:

In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count for the purposes of these time limits.