What is age discrimination?
Your employer directly discriminates against you when it treats you worse than someone else because of your age, or because of the age of someone you are associated with, and the treatment is not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
A suitable comparator enables you to compare your treatment with that of someone of a different age but in a similar situation.
Direct age discrimination often occurs where an employer thinks someone is too old or young for a role. For example, an employee complains that they have not been promoted because they are over the age of 50, the correct comparator would be an employee younger than 50 but in the same role as the claimant. Hypothetical comparators are permitted where a real-life example is not available.
What is indirect age discrimination?
Indirect discrimination is the application of a ‘provision, criterion or practice’ (PCP) which discriminates against a person with a protected characteristic. There have also been some case law developments relating to indirect associative discrimination.
Indirect age discrimination occurs when an employer applies a PCP that, although apparently neutral and non-discriminatory on its face, has a disproportionate impact on individuals of a particular age group.
An example of indirect age discrimination would be a job advertisement for a cleaner with ten years’ experience. This may be indirect discrimination against a young person. It is unlikely that an employer would be able to show this requirement pursued a legitimate aim and that it was proportionate.
Who is protected from age discrimination?
The Equality Act 2010 protects employees, workers and agency workers, apprentices, some self-employed people (provided they provide the work personally) and job applicants from age discrimination. Specific groups, such as police officers are also included.
How can we help you?
What is age related harassment?
Harassment by reason of age is unwanted conduct in the workplace that has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. This can be because of the employee’s age, the age they are thought to be, or the age of someone else they are associated with.
For example, your manager keeps commenting on how slow an older employee is at learning how to use a new software package because of their age. You find this distressing. This could be considered harassment related to age.
Harassment can never be justified. However, if your employer can show they did everything reasonable to prevent people who work for them from behaving like that, you will not be able to make a claim for harassment against them, although you could make a claim against the harasser.
What is victimisation?
Employees are protected from discrimination by way of victimisation. Victimisation is treating a person less favourably than another on the grounds that they have:
- brought proceedings under the Equality Act 2010
- given evidence or information in connection with such proceedings
- done anything under or by reference to the Equality Act 2010 in relation to the discriminator or any person
- alleged that the discriminator or any other person has committed an act which would amount to a contravention of the Equality Act 2010.
Victimisation may also occur if the discriminator knows that the person victimised intends to do any of the above.
For example, an employee faces demotion after filing a complaint about ageist remarks from a manager.
Age discrimination and retirement
In the UK, there is no longer a default retirement age. This means employers cannot automatically retire employees when they reach a certain age.
If employers want to operate a compulsory retirement age, they can only do so if they can objectively justify it. This means they must provide a legitimate business reason for having such an age requirement; however, this can be difficult and employers are encouraged to be flexible as employees get older. This might include adjusting working hours, job roles, or responsibilities to accommodate older workers.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
To make a claim for race discrimination you need to act fast as the time limit is short. You only have three months less one day from the act complained of, so you should contact us as soon as possible. The first step in making a claim is to contact ACAS and start the early conciliation process.
How can PM Law help you?
We can help with ACAS early conciliation and will speak to the conciliator and assist by clarifying your claims and the issues between you and your employer. We can also help you negotiate a settlement. If your employer won’t offer you fair compensation, we can help you to pursue a claim in the employment tribunal.
To speak to one of our employment experts you can call 03300 532182. Alternatively, you can fill out the form on this page or send an email with details of your claim to email@example.com. Our solicitors are on hand to discuss how we can help.
Employment Law FAQs
Didn’t find the answers you were looking for? Look at the FAQs below for more information on our employment law claims process.
You can make an unfair dismissal claim if you've been in continuous employment for at least two years.
Under the terms of the Equality Act 2010, it's your right to claim for unfair dismissal if you've been discriminated against during your employment.
The amount of compensation you could receive for unfair dismissal varies depending on several factors, including the specific circumstances of your case and the jurisdiction in which you are filing the claim.
When assessing the compensation for unfair dismissal, employment tribunals typically consider the following elements:
Basic Award: This is calculated based on your age, length of service, and weekly pay, and it is subject to a statutory cap. The exact calculation formula may differ depending on the jurisdiction.
Loss of Earnings: The tribunal will consider the actual financial loss you suffered as a result of the unfair dismissal. This may include the income you would have earned during the notice period or until you find alternative employment.
Future Losses: In certain cases, if it is determined that you will experience difficulties finding new employment or face a significant reduction in earnings, the tribunal may award compensation to cover future losses.
Benefits and Bonuses: If you lost out on benefits, bonuses, or other entitlements due to the unfair dismissal, the tribunal may consider including these in the compensation.
Each case differs and there is no set amount of compensation you will receive.
Workplace bullying is offensive, intimidating and malicious behaviour that's intended to undermine an individual or group of employees.
If you think you're a victim of workplace bullying, then you should raise this with your employer and bring evidence if possible.
Our hourly rate is £177 + VAT of £35.40.
We have different pricing options: –
- We can offer our service under a Damages Based Agreement – “No Win, No Fee”. If your claim is successful, we will charge you 35% of any compensation received inclusive of VAT.
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