Data Use In Age Discrimination Claims

Published date27 July 2022
Subject MatterEmployment and HR, Discrimination, Disability & Sexual Harassment, Unfair/ Wrongful Dismissal, Redundancy/Layoff
Law Firmlus Laboris
AuthorMs Yvonne Frederiksen (Norrbom Vinding)

The Danish Equal Treatment Board has ruled it was age discrimination to fire four workers aged late 40s to early 60s when older workers were significantly overrepresented in redundancies. The Board provided guidance on the appropriate data to use in making this assessment.

According to the Danish Anti-Discrimination Act, there must be no age discrimination, either directly nor indirectly, in connection with dismissals. Statistical information can form the basis for evidence in an age discrimination claim, but what should be included in these statistics? And when would an age-related distortion in the individuals dismissed be so significant that a presumption of age discrimination is created? That was what the Equal Treatment Board examined, among other things, in this case.


In the case, four workers had been laid off as part of the restructuring of a department of a company. The workers were 61, 57, 56 and in their late 40s. The youngest of the workers was offered re-employment. Two of the workers subsequently complained to the Equal Treatment Board, claiming that they had been discriminated against on the grounds of age.

During the proceedings, the company claimed that the redundancies had taken place as part of a general restructuring of the department where the employees in question were employed. The company also argued that it was necessary to look at the total redundancy pattern across the organisation, not just at the age distribution in a single department. The company presented data regarding the age of all individuals who had been dismissed in the period from 1 January 2019 to 27 August 2020, the point at which the case was pending before the Equal Treatment Board.

The decision

relation to the data set, the Equal Treatment Board came to the conclusion that it was only...

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