The Equality Act outlaws direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the basis of age. However, unlike other areas of the legislation, discrimination on the basis of age can be lawful if it is objectively justified.
General guidance is available on the implications within the workplace of the legislation and what to look out for in your organisation's policies and practices. Logged-in members and reps can download the guidance. We have produced separate briefings on the implications for retirement, redundancy and pensions. These can be found in the pensions & retirement area of the website.
Age Positive is a team working within the Department for Work And Pensions which promotes the benefits of employing a mixed-age workforce, as well as providing guidance on good practice. They have provided six 'top tips' for employers who wish to root out ageism from their organisation:
- Remove age limits from recruitment advertisements. Avoid using words like 'young' or 'mature'.
- Use a mixed age interview panel in the selection process, wherever possible.
- Promote people on the basis of measurable performance and demonstrated potential rather than age.
- Offer employees of all ages the opportunity to train and develop themselves. Encourage reluctant older and younger workers by using, as role models, employees who have benefited from training.
- Base redundancy decisions on objective, job-related criteria. Automatically making workers over a certain age redundant, or operating a "last-in-first-out" system will lead to a loss of key knowledge, skills and corporate memory.
- Agree a fair and consistent retirement policy with employees. Offer pre-retirement support and, where possible, consider flexible or extended retirement options.
Below you will find a list of our main resources on this issue. You can find a wider range of resources by searching our library.
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05 October 2012
Equality Digest for week ending 5 October covering: October is Black History Month; Runnymede Trust workshop; employers' wage subsidy; promoting equality and human rights in Wales; fulfilling potential; silence is not golden; what do single parents want from work; LGBTQ community activists agree new principals for London Pride 2013; homophobia, let's tackle it; TUC LGBT conference; Maria Miller backs Out4Marriage campaign; victory in California; EHRC plans religion or belief seminars; government guidance on age discrimination. Plus snippets.
16 August 2012
Equality Digest covering: new research reveals difficulties faced by Black gay people; UK Black Pride; civil partnerships in the UK 2011; responses to the Scottish government consultation on civil partnerships and same-sex marriage; Royal Society aims to bring more diversity to scientific workforce; mentoring women in science; Runnymede survey on impact of public sector cuts; campaign to end legal loan sharks; women's voices women's health; public debate "freedom of speech, anti-abortion protesters and women: rights and limits" Council of Europe report multiple discrimination against Muslim women in Europe. Snippets: government guidance on age discrimination ban; Prime Minister's speech at LGBT reception; women in engineering initiative hosts event for young technologists; research shows that the number of women in UK engineering jobs is worryingly low; why aren't engineering firms employing more women? Engaging engineers; Scottish government equality evidence finder.
04 July 2012
Equality Digest for week ending 6 July covering: World Pride; guidance for Scottish public authorities; women's engagement newsletter summer 2012; pay audits - a positive diagnostic tool not a punitive measure; fundamental rights agency annual report for 2011; government statement and response on age discrimination; consultation on the abolition of the Disabled Persons Transport Committee; Spring Alliance call for an alternative response to the crisis; free film screening with Robert King, freed member of the Angola 3.
01 June 2012
Equality Digest for week ending 1 June covering: Invitation to branches for nominations to the NEC Advisory sub-committees; Supporting disabled workers; Government is 'fundamentally dishonest' on disabled people, says TUC leader; Advice needed so employers can reduce risk of female workers developing breast cancer; Work & family; What employers can do for Carers Week; EHRC report on improving gender diversity; 2012 Benchmarking Survey; Opportunity Now – Building a business case for gender diversity; Age discrimination in the workplace; EHRC formal assessment of the 2010 spending review
25 April 2012
The Supreme Court has today issued judgment on two long running cases on age discrimination for older workers. The judgments are extremely significant as they clarify the tests for indirect discrimination and justification.
30 March 2012
Equality Digest for week ending 30 March 2012 covering: call for evidence; more than 1 million low-paid women could lose out from new auto-enrolment threshold; news from Fawcett; women in the media; news from UKRC; women's engagement newsletter; work & families; business in the community responsible business convention Hyderabad inclusion and diversity with GlaxoSmithKline and National Grid; Sayce review of employment services for disabled people and government response; cross-government action plan on hate crime; show racism the red card tackling homophobia; public sector equality duty objectives deadline for listed public authorities; delay in implementing ban on age discrimination.
06 August 2008
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has given judgment in two cases on the issue of age-related redundancy payments and has provided guidance to Tribunals on how to approach the justification of direct age discrimination under the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 (the Age Regulations.)
18 June 2007
Tribunal refuses to stay age discrimination claim - Mrs A Johns v Solent SD Limited, 19 June 2007