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Factsheet:

Age and employment

Resource summary

This factsheet was last updated in May 2016.

What is age discrimination?

Age discrimination arises when someone is unfairly disadvantaged for reasons, which cannot be objectively justified, relating to their age.

It can:

  • adversely affect anybody and their employment opportunities, regardless of how old they are
  • result in failure to consider skills-based abilities, potential and experience in the workplace
  • result in significant legal costs, compensation, and settlements paid to avoid defending expensive discrimination claims.

In the UK, discrimination on the grounds of age, originally introduced by regulations in 2006, is now contained in the Equality Act 2010.

Key points:

  • The regulations protect people of all ages in employment and concern recruitment, promotion, reward and recognition, redundancy and vocational training.
  • The regulations apply to: all employers, providers of vocational training, trade unions, professional associations, employer organisations and trustees, and managers of occupational pension schemes.
  • Occupational pensions are covered by the regulations, as are employer contributions to personal pensions although, generally, the way in which pension schemes work isn’t affected.
  • The regulations don’t affect state pensions.

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  • What is age discrimination?
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