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New guidance published by ACAS on age discrimination for employers

Employers, managers, HR professionals, employees, employee/trade union representatives and job applicants can find new guidance on age discrimination in a new publication by ACAS.

Age is one of nine features known as protected characteristics in the Equality Act

2010. ACAS say that  “generally, an employee is protected against discrimination because of age. This includes protection against unfair treatment because a job applicant or employee is: a different age or in a different age group to another job applicant or employee; or thought to be a particular age; or associated with someone belonging to a particular age group”.

The guide offers steps to take to prevent age discrimination happening in the workplace, examples of how age discrimination might still occur, and how age discrimination should be dealt with if it does happen. Discrimination can be direct or indirect and includes harassment and victimisation. The guide also offers guidance on what an employee or job applicant must prove to bring a successful claim - which also makes a useful reference for employees ensuring that they are making their workplace inclusive.

The guide highlights clear areas where age discrimination may occur, including recruitment and retirement, and is a key reference guide for employers of all business sizes.

Of course, there are circumstances where different treatment because of age can or may be lawful. For example, employers are able to take age into account in relation to the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage, and redundancy pay. Likewise, where pay and job benefits linked to up to five years’ length of service and, where the employer can objectively justify it, for more than five years’ service, are concerned, age will also play a part.

Posted on 6 March, 2019 by Ortolan

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