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Age diversity – How prepared is your organisation?


Research carried out by The Equal Opportunities Review has revealed that almost half of employers do not have an age diversity/age discrimination policy despite impending changes in legislation.

All changes in legislation must be implemented by December 2006 and in order to comply with the measures, employers will have to review all of their employment practices for age discrimination, including: recruitment, promotion, retirement, redundancy and their systems for unfair dismissal and performance appraisal.

In light of the extent of the policy review the government
had promised to allow employers a two-year preparation period. However they have failed to publish draft regulations on age legislation this spring so employers are left in the dark.

Equal Opportunities Review, writer/researcher Kate Godwin said:

“Many employers reported that they were delaying changes because they were waiting to see the detail of the new legislation. The recent delay by the government in publishing draft Regulations has increased employer uncertainty and further shortened what was already a tight timescale.

“Although 2006 may seem a long way off, employers need to take action to combat possible future discrimination claims. If employers do not adapt their policies, they could be facing costly but avoidable court cases brought forward by disgruntled staff or potential employees.”

HR Zone would like to hear your thoughts on this subject? Does your organisation have an age diversity policy in place?

One Response

  1. As employees get older they see the workplace in a more jaded un

    Research earlier this year showed that age had a profound affect on how employees perceived their workplace culture. Studying behavioural norms surrounding a new tool The Wellness Map, 12 major organisations were asked to look around their organisation and state how attitudes and behaviour was occurring. From the Met Police to the NHS, private and voluntary sectors, this survey got under the skin of issues that are often deemed as too intangible. The survey confidentiality produced an outpouring of views and opinions from employees about behaviour that was unacceptable. In an aging population, it is worrying that we are seemingly more despondent at work and appear to feel that 'them and us' will never change. This malaise will affect performance and productivity, and consequently cause bad health for many. Potentially we have a time bomb looming that gives the business world and the community more sickness to deal with. We already see enormous costs attributed to absenteeism and sickness in the UK today.

    Rather than letting this happen, organisations need to look at building up 'wellness' reserves in their people. Creating 'well' communities at work is about adding the 'whole person' into the business equation i.e understanding the physical, mental and emotional energy of your employees that walks through the door every morning. We need to harness the human potential at the heart of work, getting back their enthusiasm and passion for life at work. We believe that this needs a paradigm shift in attitude from top to bottom and back in any unwell organisation, and a recognition that 'human factor at work' works best when in a healthy, lively, motivating, supportive and personally rewarding environment.

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