A car salesman has been awarded thousands of pounds in compensation for age discrimination after he was sacked for being too old – AGED 52.
Gary Hawkins took legal action against motor dealership giants Carcraft – where he had worked for just eight months.
The dad-of-four told a Birmingham employment tribunal a boss at the firm fired him in November last year after getting on a ‘high’ from sacking two other employees.
At the hearing, he said a regional manager at CC Automotive Group Ltd, which trades as Carcraft in Wednesbury, West Mids., told him bluntly his career with the business was over because of his age.
Gary was told by his manager: “You are too old at 52.”
The employment tribunal backed Gary’s claim of age discrimination and awarded him thousands of pounds in a payout on Wednesday (7/8).
Speaking yesterday (Fri), Gary, who lives in Sutton Coldfield, West Mids., said: “I have struck a blow for middle-aged men and women everywhere.
“I didn’t even know I wasn’t part of the youth culture until they got rid of me.
“I believe I was the oldest guy working there and they had about 520 members of staff on all the sites.
“The judge said I was the oldest manager and probably one of the oldest staff members.
“We had a new regional manager take over and he came in and told everybody on the first day if he had to sack everybody to improve the sales then he would.
“He fired me at 6pm on a Saturday and on that day he had already sacked two salesmen and another had left because of how he treated them.
“It was a two minute conversation. He pulled me to one side and said ‘I think you’re too old for my team’, you’re sacked.
“He like 20-year-olds he could bully, he didn’t like anybody with an opinion.”
The company denied ageism and claimed Gary had failed to motivate his team and had not trained them properly.
But he denied his showroom performance had been shoddy and stressed there were regular team meetings where ways of improving sales were discussed.
The tribunal heard other roles had been offered to Gary but the firm admitted other members of staff had lost their jobs.
Tribunal judge Peter Rose QC also asked the ages of other managers, past and present – and it emerged Gary had been the oldest in his field.
Gary has now got a new job as a manager in the car sales industry and his delighted wife Heather, 48, said:
“Gary’s definitely not over the hill.
“He has three daughters and a son and they keep him on his toes.
“Really, the whole thing has done him a good turn because he’s now got the best job in the world.
“Out of all this stress, something good has happened – he now gets the time to see his children.
“He’s at a place where they realise his ‘softly, softly’ approach gets results.
“It’s not nice having to live off credit-cards. The payout brings us back to where we were.”
Carcraft declined to comment yesterday (Fri).
The firm describes itself as ‘the country’s leading used car supermarket’ and has 11 showrooms nationwide.