Age discrimination

Ashok Kanani 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. See Employment law manual > Equality and human rights > Age discrimination > Justification for guidance on this issue.

The issue of justification is also relevant in the context of retirement. The abolition of the default retirement age in April 2011 means that 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 and as such they have been forced to get to grips with how to work without a compulsory retirement age. For guidance on how to navigate the issue of retirement following the abolition of the default retirement age, see: How to > How to work without a compulsory retirement age.

Ashok Kanani, employment law editor

Latest items in Age discrimination

  • Date:
    29 September 2016
    Type:
    Legal guidance

    It is 10 years since age discrimination legislation was introduced, but how have these obligations influenced how multi-generational workplaces operate? Richard Lee, partner at Gowling WLG, considers the impact of this important piece of legislation.

  • Employer did not discriminate against older job candidate on the ground of age

    Date:
    29 September 2016
    Type:
    Law reports

    An employment tribunal has held that a rejected job applicant was not subject to age discrimination where the employer selected a younger, less experienced candidate.

  • Age discrimination

    Type:
    Employment law manual

    Updated to include information on Kratzer v R+V Allgemeine Versicherung, in which the ECJ held that a person who applies for a job with the sole purpose of making an application for compensation for discrimination is not covered by EU discrimination law.

  • Age discrimination awards 2015/16

    Type:
    Quick reference

    A table listing the age discrimination awards made by employment tribunals in 2015/16.

  • ECJ ruling on vexatious discrimination claims

    Date:
    25 August 2016
    Type:
    Editor's choice

    In Kratzer v R+V Allgemeine Versicherung AG, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that an individual does not fall within the protection of EU discrimination law if he or she applies for an employment vacancy with the sole purpose of obtaining compensation and not the post itself.

  • Discrimination law does not protect job applicants seeking compensation only

    Date:
    25 August 2016
    Type:
    Law reports

    In this German case, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that a person who applies for a job with the sole purpose of making an application for compensation for discrimination is not covered by the Equal Treatment Framework Directive (2000/78/EC) or the Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment Directive (2006/54/EC) and may be considered as having committed an abuse of rights under EU law.

  • Podcast: Abolition of retirement age - five years on

    Date:
    5 August 2016
    Type:
    Editor's choice

    Believe it or not, it is now five years since the default retirement age was scrapped. Has its removal had as big an impact on employers as many feared?

  • Podcast: Impact of removal of default retirement age

    Date:
    5 August 2016
    Type:
    Audio and video

    Five years on from the abolition of the default retirement age, we highlight four key retirement issues that have come before the tribunals and courts.

  • Older workers: how to get it right in the generation game

    Date:
    18 July 2016
    Type:
    Commentary and analysis

    Managers are too busy making generalisations to tap into the potential of older workers, according to a new policy paper from Acas. Senior policy advisor at the conciliation service, Adrian Wakeling, sets out the issues.

  • Brexit and bullying at work

    Date:
    13 July 2016
    Type:
    Editor's choice

    The Brexit vote has elicited strong feelings on either side and employers need to ensure that their employees do not become victims of bullying and harassment as a result. We provide four examples of scenarios that could result in claims against employers.

About this topic

HR and legal information and guidance relating to age discrimination.