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Age: Discrimination

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 22nd October 2019.

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Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Conservative, Cheltenham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government is taking to tackle ageism in the workplace.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Equality Act 2010, provides strong protection against direct and indirect age discrimination in employment and makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee or a job applicant because of their age, unless the employer can justify it as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

To tackle ageism in the workplace, Business in the Community have produced a toolkit which provides guidance and support to employers in getting started with age inclusion in the workplace and includes a three-step process based on Look, Listen, Act.

More widely, Government is taking steps to ensure that older workers are supported to remain in or return to the labour market, the Government has removed the Default Retirement Age meaning most people can choose when to retire, and extended the right to request flexible working to all employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service with their employer.

In February 2017, the UK Government published “Fuller Working Lives: a partnership approach” to set out the role employers, individuals and Government can play in supporting fuller working lives.

The Government has also appointed Andy Briggs as Business Champion for Older Workers to spearhead the Government’s work to support employers to retain, retrain and recruit older workers. Andy Briggs and the Business In The Community Age at Work leadership team actively promote the benefits of older workers to employers across England.

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