For the purposes of this Part of this Schedule, a reference to an age contravention is a reference to a contravention of this Part of this Act, so far as relating to age.
. . .
(1) It is not an age contravention for a person (A) to put a person (B) at a disadvantage when compared with another (C), in relation to the provision of a benefit, facility or service in so far as the disadvantage is because B has a shorter period of service than C.
(2) If B's period of service exceeds 5 years, A may rely on sub-paragraph (1) only if A reasonably believes that doing so fulfils a business need.
(3) A person's period of service is whichever of the following A chooses—
(a) the period for which the person has been working for A at or above a level (assessed by reference to the demands made on the person) that A reasonably regards as appropriate for the purposes of this paragraph, or
(b) the period for which the person has been working for A at any level.
(4) The period for which a person has been working for A must be based on the number of weeks during the whole or part of which the person has worked for A.
(5) But for that purpose A may, so far as is reasonable, discount—
(a) periods of absence;
(b) periods that A reasonably regards as related to periods of absence.
(6) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (3)(b), a person is to
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