Prior to the 1st October 2006 and the introduction of the new employment legislation – Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 the Company i work for took legal advice on long service awards and any other benefit with a requirement for over five years service. We were advised that we needed to look at our annual leave policy, long service awards and training bonds policy. Our long services awards were based on 25 or 40 years service and there is a potential risk that they could be viewed as indirect discrimination on the basis of age.
The Company took the view that if it was challenged and proved via case law that long service awards were NOT indirect age discrimination then we would look to reintroduced and back date the long service awards. To date this has not happened. Overall, and as an organisation, we have taken legal advice concerning the introduction of the new employment legislation and looked at the potential risk to the organisation and it was based on this that the business decision was taken to remove the long service awards.
However i am now dealing with 2 x employee’s who are agrieved over this and i although i can find quite a bit of info on companies who kept the awards and the proces they went through to do that i am stugglying to find other companies who took the same decision as us.
I would really appreciate to hear from anyone else who took a similar decision.