Free Checklist for your business
Enter your info to complete your purchase. By downloading our free template, you agree to subscribe to our mailing list.
Jun 27, 2023
In the landmark case, Gutierrez v MUR Shipping Australia Pty Limited (No 2)  FCA 567, Mr Gutierrez was forced to retire when he was 65 years old, despite being able to perform his job duties.
They also found that Mt Gutierrez was asked to train his replacement, even though he had given no formal notice of his retirement. Mr Gutierrez claims he was “treated less favourably than” his replacement.
The Court ruled that he had been treated less favourably because of his age and awarded him $20,000 in damages, which was appealed and heard in June 2023. The appeals judge order ordered the employer to pay general damages of $90,000 as well as an economic loss of $142,000.
Can we end someone’s employment because of age in Australia?
RRegardless of age, team members must have the ability to perform the requirements of the job, including physicality, mental acuity, and skill level. Employers can argue that older employees can no longer meet the physical demands of the job. However, this must be supported by evidence, which can include medical evidence, rather than making an assumption based on age.
Employers cannot move on team members simply because they reach a certain age. We also advise employers that the best practice is to retain skilled employees as long as possible for information retention and diversity. As we know, the workforce in Australia is aging, and currently, recruitment is extremely competitive and the economic environment is challenging. Working to retain your longer serving team members, can be an advantage as they have a wealth of knowledge and experience.
If you need advice or have any questions about team members rights or discrimination, please contact our team on 1800 868 254 or book in for a call.
Guides to help you uncover human resource insights, and make the right changes to improve team delight.