Age Discrimination

Portrait Of Senior Woman Thinking And Looking Up Against A Grunge WallIf you are treated unfairly or put in disadvantageous position by your employer, because of your age, then you might have been a victim of age discrimination. This can happen to you whether you are young or old and shows lack of consideration of your abilities and experience within the workplace.

If you feel that you are victim of age discrimination then you may be entitled to receive compensation from your employer.

Recruitment and selection

Employers should never use age as a factor in the job selection process and it should not be mentioned in job advertisements. The only exception is when they are trying to redress an age imbalance among the workforce by encouraging applications from age groups who would not usually apply for the job in question.Your employer is still required to receive details of your age.

Medical advice

Age should not be taken into account if your fitness and ability to do a job has to be assessed for whatever reason. All physical tests must be the same for all employees, regardless of their age.


You and your employer must agree on the rate of pay. It should be confirmedformally in writing form by the employer within two months of the start of new employmentor at the start of a new contract at the same place of work. They should also let you knowthe method and frequency of payment.

The terms of your employment concerning your pay and benefits must not relate to your age. Instead, they should be based on your performance and contribution as an employee. The only exceptions to this are:

  • compliance with the National Minimum Wage 
  • compensation for redundancy
  • workplace pension schemes –it is up to the company to set the age at which you can receive it, as long as it is over 55

Training and development

You should not be excluded from any training or development programme because ofyour age. Any training programme must be available to all employees.


A promotion or appraisal offered by your employer should not be based on any protected characteristic such as age.Such circumstances are example of direct discrimination.


Until October 2011, there was a compulsory Default Retirement Age (DRA) of 65 butthis has now been abolished. Employers must now follow the same dismissal procedures to dismiss an older employee as they would with someone younger. Anything else would be considered unfair dismissal and age-based discrimination.

The DRA is not the same as the State Pension Age, which is when you can start claiming the state pension. You can continue to work even though you are receiving a state pension.

After employment

Even after your employment has ended you are still protected from the discriminatory actions or harassment of your former employer. For example, if you were promised a reference at the end of the employment relationship your employer cannot refuse to provide it or give you unflattering one with regards to your age. (“A” is not suitable for that job because they are too young.)

Also, even the Equality Act 2010 does not expressly say it, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that post-employment victimisation is in fact prohibited by the Act.

For instance, you are protected from being victimised by your employer if you have made a claim against them or you are taking part in one by testifying. Similarly, if your employment was ended unfairly and you bring action against your employer, and in his turn he maliciously contacts the UK Border Agency and requests an investigation of your immigration status, they would be liable for that action. Also, even if you have not been discriminated against, your employer could still be liable for victimisation.

In any case if you are treated inconsistently compared to your colleagues or you feel harassed or discriminated against during or after your employment and you suspect that your age might be the reason for the inequality you may wish to speak to a lawyer. 

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