Age: Discrimination

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 30th September 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Mitchell Andrew Mitchell Conservative, Sutton Coldfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps she has taken to help tackle (a) age-bias in recruitment and (b) ageism in the workplace.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

The Equality Act 2010 provides strong protection against direct and indirect age discrimination in employment and makes it unlawful for an employer or an employment service provider such as a recruitment agency, to discriminate against any employee or job applicant because of their age. This applies both to when the employer is making arrangements to fill a job and in respect of anything done during the course of a person’s employment. To be lawful, any differential treatment based on age must be objectively justified.

In order to tackle outdated perceptions about older workers, the Government has appointed Andy Briggs as Business Champion for Older Workers, to spearhead the Government’s work to support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. His team will actively promote the benefits of older workers to employers across England, both strategically and through the provision of practical advice.

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