With more people having to work for longer until they can unlock their private or state pensions, ensuring equality in the workplace for people of all ages is key for employers.
In a recent poll, almost four in 10 employees (39 per cent) felt age was the most common cause of workplace inequality. Ageism came in ahead of gender (26 per cent) and employment status (22 per cent), which covers part-time and flexible working, in the research by by Lee Hecht Harrison Penna.
And in a survey earlier this year by the website totaljobs, half of workers aged 45 and over said they believed workplaces naturally cater towards younger employees.
Even the fictional village of Ambridge isn’t averse to claims of ageism with a current storyline in the Radio 4 drama The Archers. Local solicitor Usha has launched a campaign against the cricket team barring low standard female players over 45 from nets practice while allowing the younger players to carry on!
It’s illegal under The Equality Act 2010 to discriminate against employees, job seekers and trainees because of age.
Julia Fitzsimmons, Partner in the Employment Team at FBC Manby Bowdler, said: “To make sure you don’t fall foul of discrimination, it’s important to review your policies and practices across the board so older workers are not excluded, or feel excluded, from promotion or recruitment opportunities.
“You should have policies in place to prevent age discrimination across a range of areas from recruitment to selection for promotion, pay and terms and conditions of employment, discipline and grievances, training and dismissal.”