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New Acas Age Discrimination Guidance

Acas has published new Guidance on Age Discrimination to help employers and line managers manage an age diverse workforce, prevent unfair treatment at work, and eradicate bias against older and younger workers.

The Guidance includes a 'top ten obligations' factsheet for employers, and a myths v facts sheet. Both can be found by clicking here, but we’ve provided a summary below:

Employers’ Obligations Regarding Age Discrimination

  • Preventing / policing ageist remarks in the workplace.
  • Ensuring there is no discrimination (intentional or otherwise) against job applicants because of their age.
  • Preventing age-based assumptions about what job applicants and employees are capable of.
  • Not pressuring employees into retiring.
  • Pay, benefits and perks are to be based on job and skills, not age.
  • Don’t assume there is more value in training younger staff than older employees.
  • Ensure policies and practices do not put an employee at a disadvantage because of age.

Complicated exceptions

The law does allow different treatment because of age in limited circumstances, but these exceptions can be complicated to put into practice correctly.

An employer would need to be fully informed about using an exception, able to prove there is a real and important requirement for using it and confident there was no other option.

Myths and Facts about Age Discrimination at work

Acas also produced a handy and interesting fact sheet, outlining the top ten myths and facts about age discrimination at work.

It makes a short and interesting read, and aims to dispel myths around relative absence rates, performance, and ability to learn new skills of different age groups.

You can download it by clicking this link.


At Frettens, all of our solicitors offer a free initial meeting or chat on the phone to answer your questions. If this article raises issues for you or your business, please call us on 01202 499255 and a member of the Employment team will be happy to discuss it with you.