Expert employment solicitor Paul Jackson explains and answers some questions on age discrimination.
What aspects of employment are protected from age discrimination?
All aspects of employment are protected, it could be even before you've got a job, it could be after you've left your job. So if you're applying for a job in an interview and they ask odd questions like for example, are you up to date with technology must be difficult for someone at your age, you know technology moves on fast, that's a form of discrimination clearly based on the stereotype that older people don’t like technology. It could be at any time during your employment and as I say it could be even after what happens following your employment.
What are the signs of age discrimination?
If you feel you've been treated differently because of your age it might be for a number of reasons, it could be that someone actually says something to you about your age directly in which case you've got very good evidence that you're being discriminated against. Usually, discrimination is much more subtle it could be all of the younger people are going out not including you in their social activities. You never get invited to certain things because you're being treated differently.
It could be that there's a perception that you just wouldn't be interested in the particular activity at work because you're older and you’re not good at it or it could be you're treated as being too young for example because you would possibly want to get involved in another kind of activity, it's again based on those prejudices and stereotypes and it can take many forms from very subtle to blatant and it just depends it's not always obvious.
What should I do if I have been discriminated against in a job interview or part of the application process?
One thing you can do is actually raise it at the interview so that you concern the difficulty because if that person is discriminating against you it's probably not going to encourage them to recruit you but you can certainly raise it if you feel that's appropriate it might be that you just don't want to work for that employer having been treated in that way you just want to get that off your chest that might be good justification for doing that.
Alternatively you might want to take it further after that interview might be you don't get the job and you might want to raise a complaint about that I would say put it in writing and take it further and certainly a very good way of doing that is to talk to a solicitor because they will be able to guide you as to what information you need and whether you have a good case to take it further.