The equalisation of the state pension age in United Kingdom: Indirect sex discrimination?

DOI10.1177/13582291211011432
AuthorPauline Roberts
Publication Date01 June 2021
SubjectCases, Legislation and Policy Development
Cases, Legislation and Policy Development
The equalisation of the
state pension age in
United Kingdom:
Indirect sex
discrimination?
Pauline Roberts
Abstract
This commentary examines the Court of Appeal’s decision in R (Delve and Glynn) v.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which concerned the judicial review of the
incremental increase of the state pension age in the United Kingdom for women born in
the 1950s. It focuses on the claims of discrimination contrary to Article 14 of the Eur-
opean Convention on Human Rights, in particular the discussion relating to indirect sex/
sex and age discrimination. It is argued that there is scope for greater clarity in the
Court’s reasoning which led to its conclusion that the measures did not result in indirect
discrimination contrary to Article 14. However, the dismissal of each appeal is not
surprising, in view of the adoption of the ‘manifestly without reasonable foundation’ test
when scrutinising decisions relating to social welfare policy. In other words, even if the
measures resulted in indirect sex discrimination, they were justified.
Keywords
Indirect discrimination, state pension age, justification, sex, age
School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
Corresponding author:
Pauline Roberts, Cardiff School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF10 3AX, UK.
Email: robertspi@cardiff.ac.uk
International Journalof
Discrimination and theLaw
2021, Vol. 21(2) 157–167
ªThe Author(s) 2021
Article reuse guidelines:
sagepub.com/journals-permissions
DOI: 10.1177/13582291211011432
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