The experienced radio host

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Date:
15 Apr 2013

a change of the employee's weekly working hours was so fundamental as to entitle the employee to consider himself dismissed. but the dismissal was not in conflict with the danish anti-discrimination act

By:
Søren Eeg Hansen

A change of the employee's weekly working hours was so fundamental as to entitle the employee to consider himself dismissed. But the dismissal was not in conflict with the Danish Anti-Discrimination Act

A change of the employee's weekly working hours was so fundamental as to entitle the employee to ‎consider himself dismissed. But the dismissal was not in conflict with the Danish Anti-Discrimination Act.‎
 
If an employee is dismissed on grounds of age, it would be in conflict with the Danish Anti-Discrimination ‎Act. But when is a change to the terms and conditions of employment so fundamental as to amount to a ‎dismissal? And would such a dismissal be in conflict with the Danish Anti-Discrimination Act given the fact ‎that the employee in question is 67? These were the issues involved in this case.‎
 
The case concerned a 67-year-old radio host, whose working hours were changed from a full-time job to ‎‎20 hours weekly. The reason was a change in programming, which meant that the individual programmes ‎were to include more features from employees around Europe. This meant less work for the radio host.‎
 
The radio host filed a complaint with the Danish Board of Equal Treatment, arguing that the change in ‎working hours was so fundamental as to amount to a dismissal. In addition, he believed that his working ‎hours had been changed because of his age. In support of his complaint, he presented various statistics ‎which showed that at 1 December 2009 there were only seven employees over 65 out of a total of 915 ‎employees.‎
 
The Board of Equal Treatment held that the change of the employee's working hours was so fundamental ‎as to amount to a dismissal. However, the employer had not acted in conflict with the Danish Anti-‎Discrimination Act. In its decision, the Board took into account that the radio host's workload had lessened ‎and that there were no signs indicating that his age had been a factor in the decision to change ‎programming since fewer journalist hours were needed.‎

 

Norrbom Vinding notes

  • that the decision illustrates – in accordance with former decisions – that statistical material does ‎not in itself mean that the employer has acted in conflict with the Danish Anti-Discrimination Act if ‎the employer is able to show that there is another objective reason for the dismissal.‎