Age discrimination

Eleanor Gelder 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

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