Is a Refusal to Extend PHI Cover Beyond 60 Age Discrimination?

In Smith v Gartner UK Ltd the EAT considered whether an employer acted discriminatorily in ending payments under a PHI scheme when the employee reached 60 in accordance with the terms of the PHI policy.

The EAT upheld the employment tribunal’s decision to strike out the claims for unlawful deductions from wages and direct age discrimination. The EAT held the tribunal was correct to find that the contractual documentation only required the employer to provide a PHI scheme and not to make further payments to the employee if payments were not made by the insurer. The decision to not cover the employee beyond age 60 was the insurer’s, not the employer’s, and there was therefore no direct age discrimination by the employer.

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