Having a good business reason to discriminate
An employer might be able to discriminate and stay within the law, if they can prove a good business reason ('objective justification').
Under the law, objective justification might only be legal in the following circumstances:
- indirect discrimination
- discrimination arising from disability
- ordinary direct discrimination because of age – see the Acas guide on age discrimination
The employer must be able to prove both of the following:
- there's a good business reason behind the discrimination
- the discrimination is 'proportionate, appropriate and necessary' – this means their business need is more important than any discriminatory impact on affected employees
Financial reasons alone are unlikely to justify discrimination.
The more the action discriminates, the more difficult it is for an employer to prove it's within the law.