Discrimination in the Workplace
The law relating to discrimination in the workplace is complex. The Equality Act 2010 sets out the legal framework relating to discrimination and the basis on which acts will be unlawful.
As an employer you have a responsibility to ensure your employees can work freely without feeling vulnerable to, or being subjected to, discrimination. Banner Jones Employment Law solicitors can provide helpful advice to prevent claims for discrimination and are able to offer expert advice on all types of workplace discrimination so that you can concentrate on running your business. As our discrimination law solicitors are continually up to date with the latest on employment law we will keep you informed on the latest changes which could help you avoid making a costly mistake.
Frequently Asked Questions
You need to be able to justify if you are asking for certain levels of experience. Advertising for a bus driver who is safe and has had previous experience is one thing advertising for a bus driver with 10 years’ experience is another. The first option leaves your job advert open for all ages to apply. The second rules out individuals who may be in their early twenties.
Other points to consider when recruiting new employees:
- Ensure whoever is interviewing potential employee’s scores interviewees on their skills and competencies as opposed to their age.
- Although they are not discriminatory themselves consider removing any reference to age on your job application forms.
- Don’t ask a potential employee for a physical fitness test unless you require them.
Once you have selected an appropriate employee ensure managers and staff are trained to monitor and avoid any discriminatory behaviour. Also make sure it is clear within any policies you have that discrimination in any form is unacceptable. Ensure managers are fully trained in diversity issues and that they are able to deal with discriminatory issues that arise within the workplace.
Yes you need to be aware of these requirements if you employ anyone of any age. They affect every area of employment as well as the recruitment and selection process. The requirements not only make it unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of age but also harassment whether it be intentional or unintentional or to victimise an individual.
You need to worry not only about your own actions but also your fellow employees who must be discouraged from making offensive or unkind comments about age or anything in between.
As with other areas of discrimination if your employee can demonstrate that there has been a difference in treatment which is due to discrimination it is solely down to you the employer to show otherwise or for you to prove that you have done everything in your power to stop such discrimination. There are no limits to discrimination awards and often they include an aspect for suffering, failure to do so can be expensive.
When you are recruiting employees you need to ensure you are not discriminating for or against anyone due to their age. This means you cannot advertise specific age requirements in any of your job adverts unless you can justify them.
In 2011 legislation new legislation was introduced making it unlawful to treat anyone differently due to their age except if it could be justified or falls within one of the exemptions to the law. The retirement age of 65 has now been phased out meaning employers can now only forcibly retire workers if it can be justified.
The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations came into effect in October 2006. The retirement age of 65 was phased out between April 2011 and October 2011.
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