01 March 2006

Employment news - spring: Fighting ageism

The final draft of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 have now been published. If approved, they will come into force on 1 October 2006 and will apply to employment and vocational training.

The Regulations prohibit direct and indirect  discrimination, harassment, victimisation and instructions to discriminate on the grounds of age. Key provisions include:

  • the upper age limits for unfair dismissal and redundancy being removed
  • benefits which depend on length of service requirements of 5 years or less will continue after the 5 year period; employers must demonstrate that benefits awarded on the basis of length of service for example, to motivate or reward employees, have a real advantage
  • exemptions for many age-based rules in occupational pension schemes
  • a duty on employers to consider requests by employees to continue working beyond retirement age.

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