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Judge rules that age discrimination did not play a part in unsuccessful job application

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An employment tribunal has ruled that no age discrimination occurred in the rejection of an “overqualified” job applicant.

In Jones v Care UK Clinical Services Ltd, the Judge heard that Mr Jones had applied for the role of a marketing services executive with an independent provider of health and social services, Care UK Clinical Services Ltd.

Mr Jones was rejected for the post, with the care company citing that another candidate had scored marginally better in the interview process.

According to the interview notes, the employer believed that Mr Jones had “skills in relation to engagement with stakeholders that were beyond what was needed” and “expectations of his development in the job that could not be fulfilled because of the constraints of the role”.

Mr Jones brought a claim before the Judge for direct age discrimination in contrary to the Equality Act 2010.

He said that he was less favourably treated because of his age (51), compared to the successful candidate (aged 29).

Care UK Clinical Services Ltd denied any wrongdoing. It said that age had not played any part of its selection process and the appointment decision was based on the candidates’ comparative interview responses and scores.

The Judge found that the claimant was not victim to age discrimination, and there was no evidence that the claimant had been treated less favourably than the successful, younger candidate.

The Judge said: “It was plausible that [the employer] would be concerned that the claimant’s previous senior roles, high-level qualifications and extensive experience might unbalance the marketing team and undermine other team members, all of whose qualifications and experience were of a much lesser order.

“Additionally, that the claimant would soon become bored with being employed at such a low level compared to his previous roles, become frustrated and leave early.”