According to a recent government research, half of the UK workforce will be over 50 years of age by the mid-2030s.
The Fuller Working Life Report of February 2017 recommended that strategies be put in place as soon as possible to deal with this shift in demographics.
Age discrimination can cover direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, victimisation and harassment.
It covers recruitment, internal promotion and provision and benefits such as training and bonuses. It also covers discrimination against younger workers as well as older workers.
Direct Age Discrimination
If you are treated less favourably because of your age compared to someone who is older or younger then this can amount to age discrimination. If for example your dismissal has influenced by your age or you think are at risk of redundancy because of your age this can amount to direct age discrimination.
Indirect Age Discrimination
This occurs when a practice, criterion or provision (PCP) puts you at a disadvantage compared to other employees because of your age.
Example – your employer organises a social event for those in the company over the age of 40. Those under the age of 40 would be able to convincingly argue that this was discriminatory on the grounds of age.
if you are suffering from behaviour that is offensive, intimidating or creates a hostile, intimidating, degrading environment then this can amount to age-related harassment.
Justification of Age Discrimination
This is potentially a risky strategy for an employer but it is legally possibly to justify age discrimination. It is therefore rarely utilised.
An interesting case where the employer succeeded in this argument was a case brought by two cricket umpires against the English Cricket Board. The English Cricket Board automatically retires umpires when they reach the age of 65. This is clearly on the face of it an act of age discrimination The Judgment can be found here.
However the employment tribunal found that the discrimination was justified as a means of pursuing the aim of giving new talent an opportunity to become umpires.
The Tribunal found that in order to justify inter-generational fairness and orderly succession planning, the policy was a proportionate means of achieving that legitimate aim.
Compensation for age discrimination
Compensation is assessed in accordance with the Vento guidelines and the following bands:
- Band 1 - £900 - £8,800;
- Band 2 - £8,800 - £26,300;
- Band 3 - £26,300 - £44,000
Contact Our Age Discrimination Lawyers
We provide a no win no fee service for clients who find themselves involved in employment disputes.
Speak to a member of our team today by calling 0151 541 7766 or complete our online enquiry form.