Age Discrimination – Key Points

Site updated on February 17, 2020

  1. Age Regulations came into force 1 October 2006.
  2. Regulations cover employment, job seekers and vocational training. This includes access to help and guidance, recruitment, promotion, development, termination, perks and pay.
  3. The regulations cover people of all ages, both old and young, but not unpaid volunteers or Armed Forces.
  4. All employers, providers of vocational training, trade unions, professional associations, employer organizations and trustees, and managers of occupational pension schemes have new obligations to consider.
  5. The upper age limit of 65 for claiming unfair dismissal and redundancy has been removed. You can now claim unfair dismisssal or redundancy pay at any age. Any selection for redundancy should not be based on your age alone. “Last in First Out” redundancies are also likely to be classed as age discrimination. Statutory Redundancy Pay is partly based on age, but this remains in force. Your redundancy payment should not be reduced if you are made redundant in the12 months leading up to age 65.The Minimum Wage is not affected by these regulations and the rate of pay still depends on your age.
  6. The national default retirement age of 65 was removed in 2011. You can now choose when you wish to retire. Employers can only have a compulsory retirement age where it can be objectively justified – that means a clear business reason.  If this is the case your Employer should have an agreed policy explaining the reasoning. You have the right to work until you are ready to retire. Your Employment contract should tell you how much notice you have to give your Employer to resign and leave – but your Employer would probably like to have plenty of notice of your intention to retire!

Your Employer may discuss your retirement plans with you from time to time, this is quite reasonable. However you should not be put under pressure to resign, or be bullied or harassed.  If your Employer wants you to retire  it will have to be justified as you can claim Age discrimination.

Occupational pensions are covered by the regulations, as are employer contributions to personal pensions. However, the regulations generally allow pension schemes to work as they do now.

The Age regulations do not affect state pensions.

Please note: Acas is the nominated agency to provide advice and guidance on age issues.

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