UK Employment Solicitors - http://www.employmentintegration.co.uk/

Age Discrimination Solicitors - Employment Compensation Claims

SOLICITORS HELPLINE: ☎ 0345 515 0655

In the United Kingdom, it is an unlawful practice during the recruitment and employment process to reject an individual's application or not consider an individual for employment based solely on their age. The enactment of Employment Equality (Age) Regulations in October 2006 makes it an unfair or unfavourable practice to bar an individual from employment or discriminate against that individual when determining wages, sick leave or any other portion of their employment contract due entirely to their age.

Nearly 20 million people living in the UK are over the age of fifty. It is a segment of the population that will continue to grow as advancements in medicine help ensure that people are not only living longer but are also healthier into their older age. As a result, people over the age fifty are not retiring as early as they used to. Being in good health, the older generations are continuing to work for longer. Unfortunately, workers over the age of fifty are often the target of age discrimination. Some employers hold age-based prejudices, making them unwilling to employ those of fifty and older. Also, there are far fewer employment opportunities for those over fifty than there are for those in lower age brackets. It is not only those over fifty who suffer from this problem which is a serious employment issue that affects employees of all ages. If you have suffered bias in this way you should contact an age discrimination solicitor at the first opportunity.

Scope and Applicability

All employees are protected by age discrimination law which does not require that an employee be of a certain minimum age to enjoy the benefits nor is there a maximum age at which the employee loses their legal protection. Employers who violate the legislation can face stiff financial penalties. An age discrimination solicitor acting on behalf of a victim can bring a claim against the employer and receive an unlimited amount of damages.

There is one exception made for the application of age-related criteria for employment. An employer will not be considered to be practicing age discrimination if they can provide justifiable grounds, based on objective evidence, for the minimum or maximum age requirement they have in place.

Age Discrimination Issues

The issue of age discrimination is not as straightforward as it might seem. It is far more complicated than the mere case of an employer refusing to employ someone because they don’t want to work with someone who is over or under a certain age. Some of the numerous complex issues that may be raised include :-

  • The law prohibits any employer from recruiting potential employees based on their age. The only factors which can be considered are the applicant’s qualifications.
  • There is no longer an upper age limit on any employee’s redundancy rights or on which employees can bring an unfair dismissal claim.
  • An employee has the right to request that they be allowed to work beyond the compulsory retirement age of sixty-five. The employer is obliged to consider that request. The employee must provide six months notice of their intended retirement date.
  • Length of employment and experience can still be used as a factor in the amount of pay and type of benefits an employee receives. However, in order to be valid, neither length of employment nor experience may be linked to age.
  • The amount of the redundancy payment a terminated employee is to receive is currently calculated based on that employee’s age. In place of this age-based calculation, there is a proposal that the redundancy payments instead be equal to one week’s salary per year of employment. The proposal also includes a cap on the amount of payment which can be received.
  • The “last in, first out” criteria for determining which employees to let go in a redundancy situation has been made illegal. This provides protection to people of all ages, but it primarily benefits younger workers.

The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 - SI No 2006/1031 make it unlawful in the UK to refuse employment to any individual based solely on their age. It also makes unlawful the practice of biased, improper or unethical treatment of an employee because of their age. If you live in or around Newcastle and you think that you were not given a contract of employment or were discriminated against based on your age, you may be due compensation.

Our age discrimination solicitors can assess your claim and make a recommendation to you about further action. You can instruct one of our solicitors to negotiate a settlement with the employer who denied you employment or with your current employer, if age-based discrimination took place. As a last resort, our solicitors can apply to the Employment Tribunal to mediate on your behalf.

Age Discrimination Law

The regulations are applicable in both the public and private sectors. These rules are applicable for the workers of all age groups. These regulations apply throughout the recruitment and employment process and contain protection for applicants and employees during application for employment, discussing the terms and conditions of employment, as well as on during the period of employment and until after termination.

Age can never be the basis when considering who receives training, who gets transferred, who will get promoted or whose employment will be terminated. Management's policies must be fair and equitable and cannot neglect or ignore any particular age group nor can company policy give preference to any age group. Every employer should have in place a standard policy that applies to all employees and addresses the procedures utilised to consider redundancy and other dismissal procedures that are fair to all, regardless of age.

These Regulations were adopted to shelter the safety and security of each employee's job. This legislation states that no employee can be compelled to resign or accept involuntary retirement before the age of 65, until and unless there are specific health or safety threat inherent in the current position that a medical practitioner has ordered retirement or reassignment, in which case, management should consider an alternate position within the organisation in lieu of retirement. Additionally, when the employee requests to remain at work after 65, that request should be given due and diligent consideration.

Employment Equality

The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 apply to all ages and all sectors of employment. It is applicable to the private sector as well as the public domain. Young people cannot be discriminated against, nor can older workers be forced into retirement before age 65. The policies of an employer must be fair and equitable to all age groups and may not directly or indirectly present an unfavourable forecast to any age group applying for employment.

The regulations provide guidelines for:

  • recruitment and employment
  • training
  • transfers
  • promotion
  • termination
  • conditions of employment
  • terms of employment

Based solely on age, an employer may not:

  • deny promotion
  • deny training
  • elect not to give you employment
  • dismiss you
  • force you to retire without necessary justification
  • change the conditions of employment

Retirement

The decision to retire before the age of 65, must be the choice of the employee, an employer may not force someone to retire before 65 unless there are reasons that are "objectively appropriate and necessary". Any person who desires to work past the customary retirement age of 65, must be given full consideration by the employer.

Redundancy

Due to the discriminatory nature of applying minimum or maximum age requirements when considering who to dismiss during redundancy, that requirement has been eliminated, as well the old standard of "last in, first out", these practices when applied to a procedure to eliminate employees during redundancy tend to discriminate against younger employees.

An employer must implement a fair policy in the case of redundancy and in its selection process. In the case of lawful redundancy, there are no legal requirements regarding either the minimum and maximum age, however in unfair dismissal cases heard before the Employment Tribunal, the upper age requirement is removed.

Age Discrimination Solicitors

Our age discrimination solicitors are able to offer a complete service to claim compensation for age discrimination. We operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement and no legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. If we reach a negotiated settlement with your employer on your behalf and you receive compensation, our solicitor will receive a percentage of the compensation previously agreed upon by you. Everything is agreed on up-front, prior to you instructing us. If we don't win, you don't pay. For free advice without obligation, just call the helpline or email our offices and we will provide you with free advice with no obligation. If after talking to us you decide to proceed no further you will not be charged for our advice and we will not contact you further.

SOLICITORS HELPLINE: ☎ 0345 515 0655