The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 will become law in October 2006 following European Council Directive 2000/78/EC.
The Regulations will make it unlawful to discriminate on grounds of age (including all ages). They implement the principle of equal treatment in employment and training and apply to all employers in the public and private sectors.
The Regulations include, specifically:
The Regulations outlaw direct discrimination and indirect discrimination as well as harassment and victimisation.
They allow for limited exceptions to the principle of equal treatment for example to allow special schemes to promote the integration of older or younger workers into the labour market.
Key provisions of the regulations:
- Ban age discrimination in terms of recruitment, promotion and training
- Ban all retirement ages below 65 - except where objectively justified
- Remove the current upper age limit for unfair dismissal and redundancy rights
- Remove the current upper age limit for unfair dismissal and
They will also introduce:
- A duty for employers to consider an employee's request to continue working beyond retirement; and
- A requirement for employers to give written notification to employees at least 6 months in advance of their intended retirement date. This will allow people to plan for their retirement.