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Press release: Medical receptionist settles age discrimination case for £6000

Medical receptionist Ruth McNeil has today settled her age discrimination claim against a Medical Practice in Lothian for £6000.

In a case supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland, Ms McNeil claimed that she had been asked to leave her post as a part time receptionist when her employers discovered that she was over 65.

Ms McNeil, who is 66 years old, began working at the Practice in September 2008 having left a permanent job at Marks and Spencer to do so. Ms McNeil claims that when she submitted a P45 detailing her date of birth she was told that no contract of employment could be offered .

Welcoming the settlement, some of which is confidential, Ms McNeil said:

' I am delighted to have settled this case – it has been a terribly upsetting part of my life. To have been offered a job I was really looking forward to on the basis of a successful interview, only to be told that due to my age I could not be kept on was devastating. I was never asked my age at the interview and never thought, given my skills and experience, that it would have been relevant. To make matters worse I was told that I did not look my age and it was suggested that had they known I would never have been employed.'

“'As well as leaving a job I valued to work at the surgery, my confidence , finances and good employment history have all been badly affected. I am pleased that the EHRC supported me. I think it is important to show that there is no place for age discrimination in our society.'

Muriel Robison, Head of Legal Enforcement, Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland said:

'Sadly, despite legislation aimed at tackling age discrimination, people can still be treated unfairly at work because of their age. Ruth McNeil may be over 65 but has many skills of great value to employers.

The EHRC believe that people with skills and ability who are able to work and who want to work should be allowed to do so. We hope that by supporting this case we are able to highlight to prospective employers that through the appointment process and in the workplace itself people should be treated fairly regardless of their age.'

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