Worker branded "Half-Dead Dave" by 'cruel' bosses wins £25,000 in age discrimination claim

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"It was wrong of the company to get rid of me because of my age and I’m glad I was able to seek justice", says GMB union member

A worker branded ‘Half-Dead Dave’ by ‘cruel’ bosses has won £25,000 in an age discrimination claim.

GMB Member David Robson, 69, worked for Clarke’s Mechanicals Limited on the Isle of Wight as a plumber and gas fitter.

In 2020, aged 69, Mr Robson was sacked with no warning and no consultation and with no issues with his work.

For many years, Mr Robson had been referred to by his manager and others as ‘Half-Dead Dave’ because of his age, the tribunal heard.

GMB Union helped Mr Robson to bring Employment Tribunal proceedings against the company.

Following a three-day hearing in Bristol, Mr Robson won his claims of age discrimination and unfair dismissal.

The tribunal awarded Mr Robson just under £25,000 in compensation, which included £13,000 injury to feelings.

Mr Robson said: “I was obviously very disappointed to have been dismissed after working at Clarkes for years.  I’m delighted to have received this compensation and am very grateful to GMB and their team of solicitors.  It was wrong of the company to get rid of me because of my age and I’m glad I was able to seek justice.”

Emily Bradshaw, Solicitor and Partner at Pattinson & Brewer Solicitors, said: “This judgment is important as it highlights the need for a fair and transparent process in redundancy situations.

“This is a clear example of a discriminatory employer who thought they could hide behind a sham process.

“This is a great result for the GMB member who showed great resilience and determination throughout a very difficult time in his life.”

Adrian Baker, GMB Regional Organiser, said: “This is a shocking case where the employer failed to comply with basic employment law standards, even giving him a cruel nickname.

“No procedure was followed and he was discriminated against because of his age.

“To make matters worse, after dismissing him, the company then advertised jobs which Mr Robson was qualified to do.

“UK Employment law is there for us all to respect and Isle of Wight employers are no exception.”