If you have suffered discrimination in the workplace on the grounds of your age, you may be able to bring a claim for age discrimination in the workplace. We can help. Our lawyers have many years of experience in helping clients that have endured less favourable treatment on the grounds of their age in the workplace, and
To discuss the specific circumstances of your case with an expert member of our team, call us today on 0131 322 1032 or complete our online enquiry form or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you without delay. We look forward to helping you move on in your working life.
What is age discrimination?
The Equality Act 2010 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of their age. The legislation is quite far reaching and will even protect job applicants and trainees from being discriminated against because of their age, and not just current employees.Age discrimination does not only cover instances where an individual is treated favourably because of their age or because of the age of people that they associate with at work. If a particular age group is singled out by an organisation’s policy, this will also amount to age discrimination. Furthermore, where someone is subjected to negative behaviour because of their age which has a detrimental effect on them or their working environment, this will contravene the Equality Act. The legislation also states that where someone is treated less well because they have made a complaint about age discrimination in the past, or supported someone else's claim, this will also amount to age discrimination.
Age discrimination, is often referred to as ‘ageism’ and is one of the most common forms of discrimination in the workplace.The Equality Act protects employees from age discrimination in the workplace in the following ways:
- Protects against unfair treatment on the grounds of a person’s actual age, the age they are perceived to be, or the age of someone they are associated with.
- Protects against harassment in the workplace on the grounds of age
- Limits different treatment because of age being to very specific circumstances
The Equality Act protects workers from different behaviours, decisions or actions which may amount to age discrimination. Different types of age discrimination are set our below.
Where you are treated less favourably on the grounds of your age. For example being refused a job, training or promotion
Where your employer implements a policy that affects those of a certain age more significantly and is less favourable to those in that age group.
This is where you are made to feel intimidated, humiliated, or degraded and makes your working environment hostile. A good example is where colleagues or even your employer make jokes about your age, or imply that you cannot do something because of your age.
This is where you are treated less favourably as a result of making a complaint, or supporting another person who makes a complaint.
When does age discrimination happen?
Age discrimination can occur at any point in the employment lifecycle, however there are certain circumstances where age discrimination is particularly prevalent. The examples below should help you to understand whether you have experienced age discrimination.
Age Discrimination in Recruitment
Ageism can take place at any point of the recruitment process, from the application form to making a decision about a job offer. Specific years of experience or a certain qualification should only be listed where it is essential to the role and candidates should be given the opportunity to demonstrate they have the requisite skills to meet the job specification.
Age Discrimination in Training and Promotion
Employers and managers must not allow any bias concerning age to influence training or promotion in the workplace.This includes making assumptions about an employee's training needs or career aspirations on the grounds of their actual or perceived age, their length of service in their workplace or their length of experience in a particular role.
Where an employer provides training to younger employees because they believe this to be a more valuable investment, or that there is no value in training older employees, this may amount to age discrimination.
Similarly, where an employee with the proper skills and experience is discouraged from applying for a role because of their age, this may also amount to age discrimination in the workplace.
Age Discrimination in Performance Management
Manager must not allow bias concerning age to influence an employee’s performance management, and employees should objectively assess goal setting and performance regardless of age. Your employer should never raise the issue of retirement with you during an appraisal, unless you raise the issue.
When might different treatment because of age may be allowed?
Under very specific circumstances, different treatment related to age may not amount to unlawful discrimination. The Equality Act includes some exceptions where different treatment because of age can or may be lawful. They are:
- In relation to National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage;
- Where the need for certain types of discrimination can be lawfully demonstrated by the employer;
- Where being a certain age, or within a certain age range is a legal requirement of the job. This is known as an ‘occupational requirement’ and is restricted to very limited circumstances;
- Where extra benefits, perks or pay is linked to length of service with an employer.
There are certain circumstances in redundancy cases where making the decision to keep staff who have been with the employer for a longer period of time may be lawful. The employer must be able to prove that there is a business case for making the decision such as to retain the most experienced staff, those that are fully trained, or those that are vital in the restructuring and success of the business.
Contact Us Today for Age Discrimination Advice
We at Employment Law Edinburgh would suggest that anyone who believes that they have been the subject of Age Discrimination should raise this with their employer, in the first instance. If however an employer fails to take the concern seriously, the team at Employment Law Edinburgh will be able to advise on how to bring a claim of Age Discrimination before an Employment Tribunal. Call us on 0131 322 1032 or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.