age discrimination

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Regulations governing age discrimination were introduced in 2006 and currently (2009) apply to employment but not to the provision of goods and services. There are proposals to extend the scope of the law when a new Equality Bill is passed. The current regulations cover recruitment, terms and conditions, promotions, transfers, dismissals, and training. They apply to direct and indirect discrimination, victimization, and harassment. However, they differ from the other strands of anti-discrimination legislation in that direct discrimination may be defended by the employer if it is objectively justified.

Upper age limits on unfair dismissal and redundancy were removed by the regulations but there remains a national default retirement age of 65. Compulsory retirement below 65 is unlawful unless objectively justified and may also be unfair dismissal. Employees have the right to request to work beyond 65 or any other retirement age set by the employer. The employer has a duty to consider such requests but may refuse them. The default retirement age is to be reviewed in 2011.

Subjects: Law.

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