Training Reference - training, learning and development news

Browse topics

Home > News > October 2006 > 03 October 2006

Don't ignore rights of younger workers, ACAS warns

Acas has warned businesses that ageism is not exclusive to the older generation. From 1 October, the Age Discrimination regulations make it unlawful to discriminate against employees because of their age. Acas says there is a risk that employers may be focusing solely on how it affects their older employees.

Acas Chair Rita Donaghy said: "It's easy to forget that age discrimination can affect all employees, from the youngest to the oldest.

"Rightly, there has been a lot of publicity about older workers - but we shouldn't forget that the new legislation will require employers to change their behaviour towards the younger generation as well. It is equally unacceptable to describe someone as being 'wet behind the ears' as it is to call them 'over the hill'.

"DTI anticipates that there may be 8,000 age discrimination cases brought to UK tribunals in the first year, so employers really can't afford to go sleepwalking into this. But they should not feel they are on their own either. Acas' prime concern is to prevent the need for such cases by helping bosses to get it right in the first place.

"We provide advice and training to meet the needs of any organisation that wants help with the new requirements, whether it's about recruitment, promotion or retirement. I strongly recommend employers visit our website on to find out how we can help them."

ACAS says there are some simple steps that companies can take to overcome age bias in the workplace:

  • Recruitment advertisements - avoid specifying length of experience as this disadvantages certain age groups
  • Application forms - ask for date of birth on equality monitoring forms only and use skills based forms
  • Selection procedures - train managers to avoid stereotypes
  • Training - make sure it is open to all employees
  • Performance appraisal - set the same standards regardless of age
  • Redundancy policy - review your policies: using length of service to select employees for redundancy is likely to be discriminatory
  • Equality policy - add age to your current policy

External link

ACAS guidance on age discrimination is available at

Training Reference is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.

Training and development books

Discover books on a variety of training and development topics at the Training Reference Bookshop

Source suppliers

Visit the Training Reference Directory to view supplier details for a wide range of courses, products and services.

Sponsored links

Back to top   

Source suppliers

Visit the Training Reference Directory to source suppliers for a wide range of training courses, products & services.

Sponsored links


Receive our FREE newsletter and keep up-to-date with the latest information. Click here to subscribe

Training Reference accepts no liability or responsibility for any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage caused by the user's reliance on any information, material or advice published on, or accessed from, this website. Users of this website are encouraged to verify information received with other sources. E&OE. All trademarks acknowledged. © Copyright Training Reference 2003 - 2007