New ACAS Age Discrimination Guidance
ACAS have published new guidance on Age Discrimination with the aim of assisting employers and managers to prevent age discrimination in the workplace. The guide also seeks to help both employers and employees to make the workplace inclusive of people of all ages.
Age is one of the nine protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 which means that employees are protected against any unfair treatment they may face on the basis of their age. The Guidance highlights the areas of employment where age discrimination is most likely to happen such as;
- Terms and Conditions of employment;
- Performance management;
- Flexible working; and
It goes on to discuss each area in turn and gives advice as to how employers can seek to avoid being discriminatory. For example, with regards to Recruitment the guidance suggests that employers should ensure that any job advertisement avoids any suggestion that prospective applicants should be of a certain age group. Further, in regards to Promotion the guidance makes clear that an employee must not be denied a promotion solely because of their actual or perceived age, or because of the age of someone with whom they are associated.
The guidance also discusses the impact of age on some of the other protected characteristics such as Sex and Disability. It highlights that older women are more likely to be treated unfairly because of their age than their male counterparts, and that employers need to be aware that the risk of an employee developing a disability increases with age, especially so once they are over 50. Therefore, employers need to be careful, especially in recruitment, that they don’t discriminate against an older applicant because of a disability or something linked to the disability.
The guidance also includes a ‘Top 10 obligations for employers’ fact sheet and a ‘Top 10 age discrimination myths’ fact sheet. The obligations fact sheet lists some key considerations that employers can take into account to reduce the chance of discrimination occurring, and the myth fact sheet discusses some common misconceptions and alternatives that employers can use to reduce the risk of age discrimination.
At FTA Law we can offer advice on all aspects of an employer’s duties towards their employees, including providing advice on discrimination. Please contact us on 0330 088 2275 for further information.
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