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Firms lack formal policies on age discrimination



Four in 10 employers have no formal or informal policy on age diversity or age discrimination, new research claims.

The IRS survey on employers’ attitudes to the new age discrimination law reveals that employers appear to have done very little development work on age diversity policy and practice.

Responses from 83 HR departments across the private and public sectors, found that:

  • Only a third of employers operate a formal written policy on age discrimination and/or age diversity within their organisations.

  • The remaining 55 respondents have no formal policy, although just over a quarter of respondents said an informal policy exists.

  • 61% of employers claim that they do not formally set either minimum or maximum ages for new recruits.

  • One in five organisations have no mandatory retirement age.

Regulations due to be published in draft form by early 2004 will spell out how the Government intends to implement the relevant aspects of the EU Employment Directive by October 2006 – making it unlawful for employers to discriminate on grounds of age.

In a contributed feature to HR Zone last month, Rachel Heenan, of law firm Beachcroft Wansbroughs, summarised the Government’s proposals to combat age discrimination and provided employers with some practical pointers on auditing policies, monitoring, recruitment, selection, promotion, training, redundancy and retirement. Read the feature here.

One Response

  1. The CAADE Centre Charity experienced age auditors
    The CAADE Centre Charity has been offering Age Audits for some months and we are constantly frustrated by the lack of enthusiasm from all employers. CAADE (The Campaign Against Age Discrimination in Employment) has been in business for over 15 years fighting for the rights of over 50’s. In the real world we know the chaos that will come about in 2006 if employers don’t have their policies sorted. The wake up call will come through the Courts. This is very serious legislation and it simply cannot be ignored. We are happy to give advice if anyone wants it.

    Stephen Leggett and Philip Walker can be reached on the subject of ‘Age Audits’ on the website –

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