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Age discrimination and your rights

Age discrimination can be defined as an event in which a decision is made regarding an individual, and that decision takes into account the person’s age as a factor. The most common example is in employment, where an applicant may be refused a position simply because of that applicant’s age.

In England there are laws that make age discrimination illegal in almost all situations. The government provides clear guidelines with regards to what considerations an employer may take into account when hiring or promoting someone. Along with an applicant’s age, the employer should not consider the applicant’s gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation (either actual or perceived).

One major caveat to the illegality of age discrimination is forced retirement. In England an employer is not permitted to make an employee redundant based on age, but is allowed to force the employee to retire once the employee has reached a certain age (65). This rule has been heavily criticised by human rights activists and legal experts alike, and it is likely to change in the near future.

If you feel that you have been discriminated against because of your age (whether you were thought to be too young or too old) you may have grounds for legal action against the discriminating party. The legal framework regarding discrimination is quite complex and it is best if you speak to a specialist solicitor before you bringing the claim. A professional’s advice will allow you to better understand your rights and the legal procedures relating to your case. 

If you would like to obtain legal advice on age discrimination, Caven can put you in touch with a local employment solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local employment solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 167 or complete the web-form above.

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