Myths Surround Age Discrimination Laws
Byline: Helen Logan
New age discrimination regulations, which came into force at the weekend, are pretty complex and have confused some people.
But the TUC has drawn up answers to some common myths surrounding the new legislation.
1. The new laws just cover older workers and don't protect young people too.
Not true, they cover employees of all ages and are particularly important for young workers, who are also often the subject of age discrimination.
2. Businesses like Saga Holidays or Club 18-30 will be forced out of business.
Not true, the regulations only cover the workplace and not the provision of goods and services, though they may be extended to cover these in the future.
But companies running training courses for employers will be covered.
If your employer brings in external trainers to run courses in-house, the trainers could not, for example, only offer a particular course to staff under the age of 30.
3. Employers will not be able to refuse to employ people over 65.
Not true, there is a default retirement age of 65 and from six months before your 65th birthday, it will not be illegal to refuse to employ you because you are too old.
Once an employee turns 65, it will be perfectly legal for their employer to ask them to retire, and some employers may decide on an earlier retirement date for staff, if they can justify this in terms of the job.
An individual can request to stay on past 65, and after this time their employer can choose to retire them at any time, asking them to work the notice period stated in their contract.
However, if they are asked to go for any other reason, for example relating to their performance or conduct at work, the older worker may ( for the first time - be able to pursue a claim of unfair dismissal.
4. Unqualified people could get jobs as brain surgeons or airline pilots.
No they couldn't ( it will still be possible for employers to state that workers have had the necessary training to do a particular job, even if that means in practice that nobody under the age of 24 would be able to apply to be a brain surgeon or a pilot. …