Age Discrimination At Work
The Uk's Age discrimination laws are in place to help ensure that you are not being denied a job or a promotion because of your age. Also this law protects against harassment or victimisation at the workplace .Age discrimination at work is unlawful in almost all types of employment. All employees and workers of any age are protected from age discrimination whether it be a Senior partner of a firm or an employee who is undergoing training .All aspects of your employment (or prospective employment) are protected from age discrimination, including your: recruitment-employment conditions-promotions-training and development .It is important to note though in some cases ‘different’ treatment of a worker because of age can be justified where a younger individual can carry out a job more effectively e.g.; a physical task ,thus protecting the welfare of the individual. Protection against Age Discrimination-Redundancy- The employer has to make sure that any redundancy policies don’t indirectly/directly affect older workers. For example, making part time workers redundant, who are predominately older individuals. In Britain the employer will have to pay you the statutory minimum redundancy payment even if you are under 18 or over 65 as there is no upper or lower limit on statutory redundancy pay. Unfair dismissal-similarly there is no upper or lower age on making a claim of unfair dismissal.
Retirement Rights- 65 is the age in the UK, set as the national default age of retirement, although this is not compulsory under new legislation. Your employer can only retire you if it is justifiable and appropriate. Your employer is legally bound to give you 6 months notice of your retirement date. Even though you are over 65 you can request to your employer your wish to work on but it is not automatic that you can work beyond this age, if so you employer will have to organise a meeting with you. Training at work- Training providers e.g. Employers, educational institutes –public or private cannot set upper or lower age limits unless justified. Service related benefits-Companies use service benefits as inducements to staff for methods of motivation in rewarding loyalty and a persons experience which they bring to the job.’ Length of service’ benefits criteria can be utilised in the UK if the employee has served no more than 5 years .If the employer uses a period longer than 5 years then they must be able to justify this as a business rudiment, for example as a factor used in recruitment or retention.
Refused a job for being too young?
An employer is within their rights to request an individual’s birth certificate however they cannot use this age criteria to discriminate against that person. It is not lawful to place a lower age limit when recruiting unless this can be appropriate or justified.
For a fuller explanation of Age Discrimination and the law please search on the http://www.direct.gov.uk.