09 December 2016 #Employment
In the recent case of Gorka Salaberria Sorondo v Academia Vasca de Policia y Emergencias the European Court of Justice determined that the imposition of an upper age limit of 35 years for new recruits to Basque Police Force was not in contravention to EU law.
The ECJ found that in this instance the policy was a “genuine and determining occupational requirement,” and that the nature of the job “requires a particular level of physical capability.”
Although a useful reminder that valid occupational requirements can justify such age limits, this case also serves as a reminder of the high threshold that must be satisfied to justify such an age limit. Throughout the case, there was much emphasis on the Basque police force carrying out duties of the state security forces, this was key. ECJ case law confirms that the same decision would not have been made in respect of an ‘ordinary’ local police force.