The Equality Act 2010 is a law which protects individuals from discrimination. It means that discrimination or unfair treatment on the basis of certain personal characteristics, such as age, is against the law in almost all cases.
The Equality Act 2010 is the legislation that protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society.
It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. It sets out the different ways in which it’s unlawful to treat someone.
Under the Equality Act there are nine protected characteristics and the following characteristics are protected characteristics:
Under the Equality Act, individuals are protected from age discrimination in all aspects of their employment including the recruitment process, employment terms and conditions, promotions and transfers, training and dismissals. The Equality Act protects individuals from direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
The act of age discrimination in the workplace can take many forms. Generally, it occurs when an employee or job applicant is treated unfairly and less favourably to others because of their age.
The Equality Act 2010 has replaced the Equal PayAct 1970, Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006.
Yes, it is against the Equality Act to discriminate against someone because of their age. This could be because the individual is younger or older than others and if the difference in treatment is as a result of their age it will breach the Equality Act.
If you've been treated unfairly and less favourably to others at work and it's because of your age, you may have been discriminated against. The law which says you mustn't be discriminated against is called the Equality Act 2010. Discrimination which is against the Equality Act is unlawful.
Definition: age discriminationin the workplace is the practice of letting a person's age unfairly become a factor when deciding who receives a new job, a promotion, or other job benefits. Decisions about terminating employees also cannot be solely based on their age.
Legislation came into force in 2011 making it unlawful to treat people differently on grounds of age, unless such treatment could be justified or falls within one of the exemptions to the law. The default retirement age of 65 has been phased out. Employers are only able to compulsorily retire workers if it can be objectively justified.
Objective justification is what an employer needs to show, if they want to stay on the right side of the Equality Act while treating people differently on grounds of age, unless you can claim:
For an employer to prove 'objective justification', for either direct or indirect discrimination on grounds of age, they must be able to show that what they were doing was a appropriate and necessary ('proportionate') means of achieving a 'legitimate aim'.
To prove that what they were doing is appropriate and necessary, the employer must be able to show:
The concept of 'objective justification' is very difficult to pin down partly because it depends on the employer establishing that they had a 'legitimate aim'; and there is neither definition nor description of what a 'legitimate aim' may be.
A legitimate aim is the reason behind the discrimination and the reason must not be discriminatory in itself and must be a genuine or real reason.
Here are a few examples of a legitimate aim:
There are four types:
The legislation covers all employees, job applicants, contract workers, office holders, those who are on secondment and the self-employed. The regulations affect all areas and stages of employment, including:
Remember, there is no upper or lower age limit on age discrimination.
There are a number of signs of age discrimination including:
The discrimination laws do protect individuals when you apply for a job as well as while you are working for an employer. The problem is that it can be difficult to prove sometimes, so it is important to collect and gather evidence. This could be making a note of it in a diary or note book and keeping details of any witnesses if there are any. While making those notes, don’t forget to put down times, dates and places.
If you feel you are being treated differently it is important to get some advice.
First, you should try to sort out the problem with your employer informally and then formally through the grievance process before taking the matter any further.
If you have followed the employer’s grievance procedure including the appeal process and the matter is still not resolved, you can take the matter up with an employment tribunal.
The important point to remember an employment tribunal complaint MUST be made within three months of the discriminatory act complained about.
If the company grievance process takes a longer than the 3 months, you may have to submit your tribunal claim before the grievance process is completed. Always take legal advice if making a claim to an employment tribunal.
 Participation E. Equality Act 2010 [Internet]. [cited 2017 Feb 23]. Available from: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents
 Equality Act 2010: guidance - GOV.UK [Internet]. [cited 2017 Jan 24]. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equality-act-2010-guidance
 Participation E. Equality Act 2010 Section 4 [Internet]. [cited 2017 Mar 23]. Available from: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/4
 Participation E. Equality Act 2010 Chapter 2 [Internet]. [cited 2017 Mar 23]. Available from: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/part/2/chapter/2
 Ageism at work [Internet]. [cited 2017 Mar 23]. Available from: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/work-and-learning/discrimination-and-rights/agei...
 Age discrimination | Acas advice and guidance [Internet]. 2008 [cited 2017 Mar 23]. Available from: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1841
 Equality Act 2010: how it might affect you - GOV.UK [Internet]. [cited 2017 Mar 23]. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/equality-act-guidance
 Justifying discrimination - Citizens Advice [Internet]. [cited 2017 Mar 23]. Available from: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/discrimination/what-are...
 Raising a grievance at work | Acas advice and guidance | Acas [Internet]. [cited 2017 Mar 23]. Available from: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1670
 Make a claim to an employment tribunal - GOV.UK [Internet]. [cited 2017 Mar 13]. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunals/when-you-can-claim