Direct age discrimination can be justified, which makes it different to other forms of direct discrimination. While the reason for discriminating is not important, the employer could raise a defence that the discrimination is proportionate. That says, it gets a valid intention. Valid intentions and proportionality are different subjects which must be examined by separately by the court. Indirect discrimination is justified using the same principle.
The balance between the discriminatory effect of provision and the practical needs of the business, must be differentiate by the court. There must be a need for the provision and it must be rationally needed. The special terms of age as a protected characteristic need to be defined. There is a huge bandwidth of objective justifications when we talk about age discrimination, compared to others, like sex discrimination and race discrimination, where you only can find a few. Some of these versatile subjects are for example things like, working culture, retirement or business needs. Those special terms signify that in most of the cases, the policies of the employer would be reasonable, and the age discrimination demands should be a response lone to outrageously behaviour. Even though direct discrimination claims are becoming a rare phenomenon as most companies have developed solid equal opportunities policies and training, there have been several recent direct age discrimination cases where managers have made discriminatory remarks in view of the employee’s performance. Although the number of direct age discrimination claims is decreasing, since more and more companies work against them with measures like trainings and solid business policies, there are still numerous cases, in which the managers have made discriminatory notes with sight on the employee’s acting.
Consequently, a cautious balancing act between the employer’s legitimate aims and the sternness of the discriminatory measure is significant.