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Employer Age Discrimination - Restriction on selling lottery tickets:

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  • Employer Age Discrimination - Restriction on selling lottery tickets:

    Just would like some advice on this:

    I work at a small convenience store/supermarket which employs around 13 people. There are around 2 other employees who are under eighteen. Last week we introduced national lottery tickets and scratch cards and us under 18 employees have been selling them as you would expect given that you can buy and sell lottery tickets and scratch cards if you are 16 or over. However today the store manager has decided to implement a new policy - barring all employees under 18 selling lottery cards or scratchcards cards without the approval of a supervisor or another employee over the age of eighteen.

    His justification for this is that he believes that because we are under eighteen, we wouldn't be able to refuse to sell lottery tickets or scratch cards to a customer who was under 16 and that he doesn't believe we are capable of carrying out 'Think 25'. There have not been any incidents of any employees under eighteen being unable to turn down customers who we do not believe to be over 16 and previously an under eighteen employee has challenged a customer they did not believe to be over the legal age to buy lottery tickets and scratch cards.

    I have spoken to ACAS and they have said that as long as we are legally entitled to sell lottery tickets and scratch cards, the employer must have a legally justifiable reason as to why they have restricted us from selling these products and that it would be up to an employment tribunal to decide whether their reason was justifiable - if not it would be considered age discrimination in their eyes- as it makes it more difficult for us employees under 18 with this new restriction given the volume of lottery and scratch cards sales we deal with.

    ACAS mentioned that it could be considered discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 because it is potentially 'Indirect Discrimination' because it is a 'policy, practice, procedure or workplace rule which applies to all workers, but particularly disadvantages people of a particular age.'

    They have recommended that I contact my employer to say that I believe I am being discriminated against because of my age and to ask them to provide justification.

    I just wanted some advice on whether - like ACAS said - it is possible that this is age discrimination before I raise it with my employer.

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  • #2
    I would say so, being 18 doesn't stop you being able to say "Do you have any I.D?"

    Perhaps Ula would be more knowledgeable.
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    • #3
      ACAS is correct employees above the age of 16 can legally sell lottery tickets and your manager would need to have a strong justification as to why you could not to avoid his policy being discriminatory.

      In terms of what you have stated his justifications are then:

      1. "we wouldn't be able to refuse to sell lottery tickets or scratch cards to a customer who was under 16" - it is a legal obligation that you do not sell lottery tickets to customers under the age of 16 and some simple training to staff with maybe some extra support for younger members of staff to build up their confidence to challenge someone's age will overcome this issue.
      2. "he doesn't believe we are capable of carrying out 'Think 25'. - in which case that can again be covered off by training. Which as a manager I would assume should be something done as part of any person's induction into the store and it is always good to remind staff on a regular basis of this.

      I would go back informally to your manager and if this does not receive a positive outcome then you should raise it as a formal grievance.
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