11 February 2009
Organisation speaks out against age discrimination
A campaigning organisation has spoken out against age discrimination in the UK.
Making its comments in response to a Channel 4 Dispatches programme entitled Too Old to Work, the Employers Forum on Age (EFA) said that it is down to everyone as individuals to challenge ageist beliefs and to ensure that employment opportunities are not closed to people because of the date on their birth certificate.
Research conducted for the programme found that two-thirds of people forced to retire were not ready to leave the workplace.
EFA director Catharine Pusey said: "It is really disappointing that two and a half years on from the 2006 age legislation, so many people are still victims of ageism at work."
She added that age discrimination claims have tripled in the last year.
Founded in 1996, the EFA is an independent network of employers and it campaigns for "real practical change" regarding age discrimination.
Claire Dawson, employment lawyer at Russell Jones & Walker, commented: "The 2006 Age Regulations prohibit discrimination on grounds of a person's age but allow for a default retirement age of 65 to be imposed by employers.
"There have been a number of challenges to this provision in the UK regulations under European law and the issue is now before the European Court of Justice for a determination which is expected early this year."