5 questions for professional practices following the Seldon age discrimination judgment

26 April 2012
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“… if the answer to any of these questions is, “No,” there may be a problem …”

Following the Supreme Court judgment in Seldon, how do professional practices quickly determine whether or not they should be taking advice on their current partner or LLP member retirement provisions, with a view to minimising the risk of age discrimination claims by partners/members in the future?

I have a checklist of 20 points to consider, but to keep it simple if the answer to any of the following 5 questions is, “No,” there may be a problem:

  1. Do your provisions achieve inter-generation fairness or assist partners/members to retire with dignity?
  2. Are you sure that there is no other way to achieve these aims?
  3. Have you consulted with your partners/members and agreed what is fair?
  4. Is your system of partner/member remuneration based on pure lockstep or fixed profit shares, without performance management or profit sharing based on performance?
  5. If you have a compulsory retirement age, is it the best choice of age to achieve the aims referred to at 1 above, and can you state clearly why the chosen age is better than other ages for this purpose?

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