Figures published at the end of last month by The Tribunal Service showed a 79% increase in the number of age discrimination claims lodged with the service in 2010-11, when compared to 2008-09.
Whilst not all claims will succeed at tribunal – or even reach that stage – the facts are plain to see. When you also consider factors such as an ageing UK population, the abolition of the default retirement age and rising redundancy and unemployment levels, it is becoming ever more important for employers to be age aware.
For software users there are various ways that technology can help you avoid discriminatory accusations:
·         Our recruitment module – much like our core software product – processes data rather than looking at the emotions behind the data. Job applications and CVs are stored and processed electronically, and it is from this talent pool that you can search for the best person for the job. The data can be queried according to the key competencies and skills that the employer requires, making the recruitment process much fairer as the most appropriate candidates are identified regardless of age
·         If conducting a succession planning audit of a company’s existing workforce, it is possible to run reports that omit age – and even employees’ names – so that career progression is based purely on individuals’ abilities to effectively fulfil new roles
·         Best practice workflows can be created to ensure an unbiased redundancy process is consistently adhered to, and fair decisions are made according to employees’ work-based contributions rather than age
·         It is possible to report upon employees’ pay to identify if any remuneration inequalities exist. Pay scales and gradings – which relate strictly to job scope and competencies rather than age – could then be devised and implemented as a result. The salary modelling tool could of course assess the ‘what if’ scenario in advance so that employers can look at what would happen if everyone was given a pay rise.
In truth, many companies will be confident that their employment ethos is already completely unbiased. However it doesn’t hurt to give your approach to redundancies, recruitment and pay a quick MOT to ensure you don’t become an age discrimination statistic.