Ski instructors not too old at 62

Union ordered to pay €10,000 damages to monitors who were told to reduce their hours because of their age

19 March 2013

A GROUP of ski instructors, all aged over 62, have won €10,000 in damages from their union for discrimination – for banning them from working.

The 20 instructors had complained to the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Grenoble that the Syndicat National des Moniteurs du Ski Français wanted them to reduce their hours so that younger instructors could be taken on.

Judges said that the union’s "pacte intergénérationnel" was “age-based discrimination” and ruled it illegal. It ordered the union to pay each instructor €500 in damages.

However, this may not be the end of the matter as the instructors could yet ask the court for compensation for lost earnings as they have worked less this winter – and the union could appeal to the Défenseur des Droits to overturn the decision.

The SNMSF says that the decision leaves their profession in an impasse as “ski instructors have no age limit for working; “from this day on the Ecoles du Ski Français will be totally frozen, instructors wanting to stay in work can work as long as they want”.

Last month British ski tour operator Leski lost a court case in Albertville for hosting skiers on the slopes using reps without French qualifications. The company was fined more than €26,000.

French ski union denies Brit rift
Photo: Les 3 Vallées

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