bald middle aged man working

Mark Jones, a former sales director in the UK, is set to receive £71,441 (€81,014) following a ruling by the country’s Employment Tribunal. Mr Jones accused his former manager, Phillip Hesketh, of age discrimination after his manager allegedly told him he didn’t want “a team of bald-headed 50-year-old men” as he wanted “to change the dynamics” in the company.

Mr Jones was a sales director at Tango Networks, a UK-based phone company between 2019 and 2021.

The company sought to hire a new salesperson in 2020 and during the interview process, the manager reportedly told Mr Jones, “a lot of the candidates we were interviewing were a mirror image of me, white middle-aged men,” adding that “it was a shame that we did not attract more diversity into the application process.”

The company put Mr Jones on a performance improvement plan not long after his employment. His manager claimed that Mr Jones needed “handholding” and was “underwhelming”, however the tribunal found no evidence to substantiate the claim.

Mr Jones resigned shortly after in March 2021, and subsequently alleged wrongful dismissal and age discrimination by his manager. The court ruled in his favour, awarding him £20,000 (€22,681) for injury to feelings, alongside an unfair dismissal sum of £28,807 (€32,669).

With tax and interest the sum owed by the manager totalled £71,441 (€81,014).

In the end, the tribunal ruled, “In our view, everything that we have set out as the basis of the claimant’s dismissal is tainted by age discrimination,” the tribunal said in its ruling, “whether consciously or unconsciously, Mr Hesketh perceived the claimant as undynamic and he associated more dynamic people with the characteristics of younger people.”

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