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Age Discrimination in the Workplace

Age Discrimination is when you are treated unfavourable due to your age. There are various types of age discrimination including recruitment, employment terms and conditions, promotions, and dismissal etc. 

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Age discrimination can arise in:

Direct discrimination

This is where someone has been treated less favourably than others due to their actual age, the age of someone else they are associated with or the age they are though to be. However, direct discrimination does not need to be intentional.

Indirect discrimination

This is where the discrimination is normally caused by a ‘provision, criterion and practice’ that is applied to a group of employees/job applicants, but it impacts a certain age group disproportionately, and in a negative way. It is worth noting that there may be exceptions, for example if an employee receives additional benefits for longer length of service.

 

Harassment

This is defined as ‘unwanted conduct’ and must relate to a relevant protected characteristic and in this case, it would be age. This can be because of the employees age, the age thought to be, age of someone else associated with or ageism. The harassment must have the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

Victimisation

  • This is where an employee suffers a detriment, potentially causing them damage, harm, or loss. Situations that may lead to victimisation include: supporting a complaint of discrimination, giving evidence about a complaint of discrimination. There are other examples listed in the Equality Act 2010.
  • If you are being discriminated against you must be able to show that employees/job applicants of the same or similar group at a disproportionate disadvantage when compared to employees/job applicants that are not in the age group.
  • Examples were it would not necessarily be considered age discrimination:-
    Benefits based upon Length of Service – This is not discrimination if the employer provides certain benefits for people that have worked there longer.
  • Minimum Wage – This is not age discrimination as a young worker on lower minimum wage is a legal standardised wage, anything less than the minimum wage would be illegal.
  • Redundancy- This is the same for length of service, if someone has been working for more time than another employee it would be calculated at a higher rate.
  • Insurance or Related Services – This is not age discrimination, as for any employer to limit access to insurance or related financial services for those under the age of 65.
  • Contributions to Personal Pension Schemes – There is a certain age- based criteria in occupational pension schemes there would not be classified as age discriminating.

If you feel as if you have suffered from Age Discrimination and would like some advice, please give our team a call 0330 221 0684 .

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If you believe you have been discriminated against for reasons relating to your age, please contact us and one of our team of employment lawyers will offer a 15 minute no obligation consultation call where we can discuss your matter and the next steps going forward.