Home Office faces action over sacking

A former barrister has launched a High Court action against the Home Office, claiming breach of contract.

Ethlyn Prince, who took up a role as an asylum support adjudicator for the Home Office in April 2000, is claiming unspecified damages after allegedly being dismissed from her adjudicator job when she reached 65.

Prince claims she was effectively sacked from her job in April 2004 when her contract was altered without her consent. The updated contract included a clause saying that her employment could not be extended as she was over the age of 65.

Prince said that, despite rejecting the changes to the contract, she still lost her job.

David Blunkett, the then Home Secretary, wrote to Prince on behalf of the Home Office, saying: “You will reach your 65th birthday, and under the terms of appointment for your office, all adjudicators must retire on their 65th birthday.”

Prince is claiming breach of contract rather than age discrimination because the facts of the case pre-date the introduction of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations in October 2006.

Prince has turned to DMH Stallard associate Kelly Mills, who has instructed 3 Verulam Buildings’ Matthew Hardwick.

The Home Office is yet to respond to the claim.