"....young,blonde,sexy and with short skirts...." Mayfair Hotel employee alleges he was told to "find fault with older staff, pressure them to leave" and recruit young, blonde and sexy staff.

London's Evening Standard today reported allegations made by Amia Ismail, 57, who is suing Radisson Edwardian Hotels for unfair dismissal.

Amia was moved from his job as a restaurant manager and replaced by "an attractive 28 year old" because, he says, the manager "wanted a new and younger image". Amia claims that he was then told to move to the Mayfair Hotel where he should "find fault with older staff and pressure them to leave". Mayfair manager Charles Oak is alleged to have then said the ideal employee was "young, blonde, sexy and with short skirts".

Evening Standard columnist Laura Craik goes on to say that "this is not a very good time to be old, fat or unbeautiful". She continues "when ageism, already endemic in film and television, starts spreading to hotels, restaurants and shops in the real world, you really have to ask what is going on".

This story will be no surprise to ten waiters and waitresses, members of our union branch, who have entered a collective grievance against their five star London hotel employers about a new dress code for the women and an alleged policy of promotion of "young , attractive women".

These cases are often settled before they come to the tribunal so there is no reputational damage to the companies involved. Employment Tribunals are at the moment overwhelmed by huge increases in the number of cases for breaches of employment law. Employers organisations and the government are suggesting that the answer to this huge increase in tribunal cases is to make it more difficult to take cases and even to charge claimants for access to the tribunal.

Another alternative would be for employers to treat their employees with decency and respect. This would stop the rise in cases immediately. But this would go aginst the interests of the hotels.

To ask workers to pay to have their cases heard is like charging people money for reporting a crime and having to pay the police and the courts for investigation and trial. But this is the way that this new government seems to be heading.

Laura Craik says "this is not a very good time to be old, fat or unbeautiful". The real moral is the oldest union motto writ large. An insult to one is an insult to all. In the LondonHotel industry, which is an industry not fit for purpose, the only message to take from this story is "Join the Union and make a difference"