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Age Discrimination

If people feel they are being fairly treated, they will to a better job. Discriminating against someone is treating them unfairly. If you don’t discriminate, you are more likely to attract, motivate and keep staff and this in turn will enhance your reputation as a good employer.

As far as age is concerned, it is unlawful to:

  • discriminate against anyone, both directly or indirectly*
  • subject someone to harassment related to age
  • victimise someone because of age
  • compulsorily retire an employee*

*unless it can be objectively justified, meaning that you will have to show a valid reason for discriminating.

You should ensure that you have policies in place which are designed to prevent discrimination in the following areas:

  • recruitment and selection
  • pay
  • training and development
  • selection for promotion
  • discipline and grievances
  • bullying and harassment

Definitions:
Direct discrimination - treating someone less favourably because of their actual or perceived age, or because of the age of someone with whom they associate.
Indirect discrimination -­ where you have a policy, practice or procedure which applies to all workers, but particularly disadvantages people of a particular age.
Harassment - when unwanted conduct violates someone’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.
Victimisation - unfair treatment of an employee who has made or supported a complaint about age discrimination

You should remove age/date of birth from the main application form and include it in a diversity monitoring form to be retained by HR. Make sure you do not ask for unnecessary information about periods and dates. If you ask for age-related information on an application form, you could find yourself on the wrong end of a Tribunal claim.

If you require further information on issues relating to age discrimination please contact us.

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