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AGE DISCRIMINATION AT WORK BY NICOLA DANDRIDGE AND PATRICK GRATTAN


Nicola Dandridge is Equality Consultant at Thompsons Solicitors. She is also Chief Executive of the Equality Challenge Unit. She is on the Executive Committee of the Disability Discrimination Act Representation and Advice Project and is a member of the National Equality Committee of the Learning and Skills Council. She is the co-author of the TUC Guide to Equality Law published in January 2005, funded by a grant from the European Commission, and has written widely on issues relating to discrimination law. Patrick Grattan is the Chief Executive of the Age and Employment Network, an organisation promoting an effective jobs market for people in mid and later life.

ISBN 0 9551795 3 X 978 0 9551795 3 2 November 2006 published by the Institute of Employment Rights The People’s Centre 50-54 Mount Pleasant Liverpool L3 5SD 0151 702 6925 Fax: 0151 702 6935 e-mail office@ier.org.uk www.ier.org.uk printed by Upstream (TU) 020 7207 1560 Layout by Creativity Jones 01691 600259 £6.50 for trade unions and students £20 others

This publication, like all publications of the Institute, represents not the collective views of the Institute but only the views of the authors. The responsibility of the institute is limited to approving its publications as worthy of consideration within the labour movement.


age discrimination at work by Nicola Dandridge and Patrick Grattan


contents

executive summary

1

CHAPTER ONE

introduction Scope of the Regulations The focus for change Demographic change Looking to the future

4 5 6 8 12

CHAPTER TWO

the legal context The The The The

structure of discrimination law impact of discrimination law public sector duties positive impact of equality legislation

13 13 14 16 17

CHAPTER THREE

the law - during employment

age discrimination at work

1 2 3 4

ii

Scope of Regulations Discrimination Exemptions Vicarious liability: responsibility of employers and principals 5 Positive Action 6 Workplace Issues

19 19 22 30 35 36 37

CHAPTER FOUR

the law - termination of employment 1 Age Discrimination

43 44


2 Unfair dismissal 3 Unfair dismissal and redundancy compensation 4 Workplace issues

48 52 53

CHAPTER FIVE

pensions Retirement and pensions ‘Golden number’ rules Pension provision and tax law

54 55 58 59

conclusion

60

endnotes

62

list of recent Institute publications

64

age discrimination at work

CHAPTER SIX

iii


WHAT IS THE INSTITUTE? The Institute of Employment Rights was launched on 28th February 1989 and was granted charitable status in 1994. As a labour law “think tank”, supported by the trade union movement, our purpose is to provide research, ideas and detailed argument on all aspects of employment law. As a charity, however, we are not a campaigning organisation. The Institute has attracted wide and distinguished support creating a unique network of lawyers, academics and trade unionists. Among the membership are John Hendy QC, Professor Keith Ewing, Professor Aileen McColgan, Professor Brian Bercusson and the general secretaries of Britain’s largest trade unions. The results of our work are published in papers and booklets. We also provide short articles, free of legal jargon, for trade union journals and other publications. Dissemination of our ideas is increasingly achieved through seminars and conferences as well as our educational courses. The Institute does not assume that legal measures can offer ultimate solutions for political, economic and social problems. However, we recognise that law has a part to play in influencing the employment relationship, both individually and collectively. Our funding is from various sources, including subscriptions, which entitle subscribers to a copy of all our new publications and reductions in conference fees. If you are interested in subscribing or would like to know more about the Institute, then contact us at The People’s Centre, 50-54 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L3 5SD. Tel: 0151 702 6925, fax: 0151 702 6935 or email us at office@ier.org.uk. Or visit our website at www.ier.org.uk

£6.50 TRADE UNIONS AND STUDENTS £20 OTHERS

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