Smith v Gartner UK Limited UKEAT/0279/15; (2106) EMPLR 017
The cessation of benefits at a set age under the rules of an insurance scheme run by an insurance company but arranged and paid for by the employer is not age discrimination by the employer.
S’s contract of employment entitled her to the benefit of a ‘Disability Plan’, which provided PHI cover at a rate of 75% of salary if she was certified disabled. The PHI cover was provided via an insurance scheme and was subject to rules made by the insurance company. The payments were to continue until she returned to work or retired. At the time the Disability Plan came into force, her retirement age was 60. S became disabled and was unable to work. She received PHI payments under the Disability Plan. These stopped when she reached 60. She complained that the cessation of the payments amounted to an unlawful deduction from wages and to age discrimination. Both claims were struck out by the tribunal since the employer’s obligation was just to arrange for the insurance - not to make any payments under it. The payments were the responsibility of the insurance company, not the employer.
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