AGENDA: Why Should the Victims of Ageism Put Up and Shut Up? Two Years Ago This Week, Age Discrimination Became Unlawful in This Country. but Lorna Findlay, Head of the Employment Group at St Philips Chambers, Asks Have the New Rules Already Come of Age?

The Birmingham Post (England), October 2, 2008 | Go to article overview

AGENDA: Why Should the Victims of Ageism Put Up and Shut Up? Two Years Ago This Week, Age Discrimination Became Unlawful in This Country. but Lorna Findlay, Head of the Employment Group at St Philips Chambers, Asks Have the New Rules Already Come of Age?


Byline: Lorna Findlay

It is two years since age discrimination in the workplace became unlawful in the UK, but it would appear that the laws have done little to change attitudes. If the furore surrounding reports that Selina Scott is set to sue Channel Five News after being allegedly "passed over" in favour of a younger female reporter is anything to go by, it seems that complaints of ageism are seen as laughable in some quarters rather than matters of real concern.

The Scott sensation follows on from last year's storm over whether Moira Stewart, the popular news presenter, had lost a presenting job because she was considered "too old".

Whilst many commentators were sympathetic to Ms Stewart, the general tone of the reaction to Selina Scott's claim was scathing, with the implication being that age discrimination - real or perceived - is not generally seen as a proper subject for complaint here in the UK.

The ever youthful Michael Winner was moved to describe Ms Scott's concerns as "pathetic" and her pursuit of her claim as "nutty".

He went so far as to infer that he did not wish to see "old dears" reading the news anyway, and included the likes of Dame Joan Bakewell and Mariella Frostrup in his list of unreasonable, and, apparently, aged, complainants about the subject.

Libby Purves (dare I say it, no scone of yesterday's baking herself) pondered, writing in The Times on September 3, on the "dangerous inadvisability" of Ms Scott publicly revealing her age (57) and her apparently "litigious" nature.

The unspoken basis of such commentary appears to be that persons finding themselves in the situation in which Ms Scott believes herself to be, really ought to just "put up and shut up" and accept that their time has passed and that job prospects will lessen as they get older.

It hardly suggests that age discrimination in employment, as a concept, is being taken terribly seriously in society as a whole.

Employment tribunal statistics for the period April 2006 to March 2007 showed that only 972 claims of age discrimination were lodged in the first six months after introduction of the law. This falls far short of the rush of claims predicted by responsible organisations such as ACAS prior to the introduction of the Age Discrimination regulations in October 2006.

Yet in a YouGov survey of more than a thousand people, conducted for the employment advice organisation Croners in 2008, more people (11 per cent of the total) said that they believed they suffered from age discrimination in the workplace than from any other kind of unlawful discrimination.

It is worth remembering that age discrimination at work covers not only less favourable treatment of older people but also on the grounds of youth, or of apparent youth or age.

Thus an individual might lose out on a responsible job because she is young (despite having appropriate actual experience or qualifications) or because she appears to be younger than she is.

A man may be made redundant or not offered a job because he is older and may, quite wrongly, be regarded as less energetic or stuck in his ways. In the current economic climate most of us are aware of how serious premature loss of employment, or loss of the opportunity of advancement, can be not just for the individual concerned but for his or her wider family.

Loss of income can lead to loss of a sought after and hard-won home, with a knock on effect on educational and other social opportunities.

The relatively low number of claims currently coming before the employment tribunals may rather be a reflection of the unwillingness, at present, of individuals to put their heads above the parapet and make such claims, (or of lack of awareness of the ability to do so) than the infrequency of this type of discrimination occurring.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

AGENDA: Why Should the Victims of Ageism Put Up and Shut Up? Two Years Ago This Week, Age Discrimination Became Unlawful in This Country. but Lorna Findlay, Head of the Employment Group at St Philips Chambers, Asks Have the New Rules Already Come of Age?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.