Editor's message: The law on age discrimination is set out in the Equality Act 2010, which prohibits direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation because of age. While much of the law on age discrimination mirrors the law on discrimination on the other protected grounds, it is unique in one respect; unlike any other type of direct discrimination, direct age discrimination can be justified where it is shown to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
The issue of justification is also relevant in the context of retirement. Employers cannot operate a compulsory retirement procedure in respect of employees of any age unless it can be justified. The reality is that employers will be able to justify compulsory retirement at a particular age only in exceptional circumstances.
Ellie Gelder, employment law editor
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that, in assessing the employer's justification defence, the tribunal had failed to adopt a holistic approach and consider an age-related cap on redundancy payments within the broader context.
The UK ranks 19th out of 34 countries in terms of its employment rate of older workers, according to PwC's Golden Age Index.
Employers should commit to employing 12% more employees over the age of 50 by 2022, according to Andy Briggs, the Government's business champion for older workers.
Updated to include information on Peninsula Business Service Ltd v Baker, in which the EAT considered the employer's liability for victimisation by an agent surveillance company it had appointed.
The Supreme Court has held that claimants are not required in indirect discrimination claims to explain why the provision, criterion or practice (PCP) puts, or would put, the affected group at a particular disadvantage.
Updated to reflect the increase in the cap on a week's pay for the purposes of calculating redundancy pay, in force on 6 April 2017.
The Court of Appeal has held that the decision to reduce officer head count "to the fullest extent" by forcibly retiring police officers with 30 years' service was justified.
Police in Scotland have been informed about a serial job applicant who threatens to launch legal action if he is not invited to interview.
In this week's podcast, we explore the steps that you can take to reduce the risk of having an indirectly discriminatory provision, criterion or practice. We also discuss what to take into account when deciding whether or not indirect discrimination can be justified.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to age discrimination.