Objective justification—the key cases for pension lawyers
Produced in partnership with Elizabeth Ovey of Radcliffe Chambers
Objective justification—the key cases for pension lawyers

The following Pensions practice note produced in partnership with Elizabeth Ovey of Radcliffe Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Objective justification—the key cases for pension lawyers
  • Bilka-Kaufhaus GmbH v Weber von Hartz
  • Trustees of Uppingham School v Shillcock
  • Cross v British Airways
  • Woodcock v Cumbria Primary Care Trust
  • MacCulloch v Imperial Chemical Industries
  • R (incorporated Trustees of the National Council on Ageing) v Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
  • R (Age UK) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Seldon v Clarkson Wright & Jakes
  • Homer v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police
  • More...

Objective justification is a phrase most often encountered as shorthand for the process of showing that a provision, criterion or practice (PCP), which is disadvantageous to an individual or group when compared with others, is nevertheless a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

Under the Equality Act 2010, s 19(1)–(3), objective justification is a defence to a claim of indirect discrimination on the basis of a relevant protected characteristic (eg age or sex). In general, objective justification cannot be a defence to a claim of direct discrimination, subject to two exceptions:

  1. it may be a defence to a complaint of direct age discrimination. The Equality Act 2010 is the Act by which the UK gave effect to the Archived Directive 2000/78/EC (Archived European Framework Directive) (sometimes called the Archived Equal Treatment Framework Directive) and section 13(2) in particular gave effect to the exception in art 6(1) permitting differences in treatment that are justified by a legitimate aim ‘including legitimate employment policy, labour market and vocational training objectives’. Note that Archived European Framework Directive (like other directives) does not constitute retained EU law post-IP completion day, but the UK laws transposing it do

  2. it may be a defence to a complaint of direct discrimination between full-time and part-time workers under the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, SI 2000/1551 or between permanent

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