Acas has published new guidance on age discrimination for employers. Age discrimination at work – treating someone unfairly because of age – is against the law apart from in very limited circumstances. This is the law under the Equality Act 2010 with age being one of the nine special areas known as protected characteristics. Others include sex, race, pregnancy and maternity, and disability.

Features of the protected characteristic of age under the Equality Act include:

  • Protection against unfair treatment because of someone's actual age, or the age they are thought to be, or the age of someone they are associated with;
  • Protection against harassment because of age; and
  • Different treatment because of age being allowed in very limited circumstances.

The new guidance provides advice on how to prevent workplace age discrimination and sets out both legal requirements for employers to follow as well as a good practice guide. The guide also includes useful examples of acts of discrimination which should help employers identify age discrimination in the form of direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation. Specifically, the guidance deals with how to avoid age discrimination in areas of recruitment, training, promotion, pay, performance management, redundancy, retirement, flexible working, and dismissal.

Read the guidance here:


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Author: Rafia Ahmad

Senior Solicitor, ESP Law Ltd

Rafia trained and qualified with Wedlake Bell LLP, a London City law firm where she was an employment solicitor for six years before moving to the fast paced trading floor of Cantor Fitzgerald LLP, a London based New York prime brokerage/investment bank as in-house employment counsel. Prior to joining ESP, Rafia was a senior employment solicitor for five years with Backhouse Jones, the UK’s number one national road transport law firm. She advises on all employment matters both contentious and non-contentious including tribunal proceedings.