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Ageism at Work is Illegal

Monday, October 2nd, 2006 at 11:13 by Rhys Wilcox

New employment laws to curb age discrimination in the workplace have started.

The last ‘ism’ leaves your office this week, as it finally became officially illegal to be discriminatory against old fogies.

But, according to research conducted by law firm Eversheds, many companies are either unprepared for the change or completely oblivious so may find themselves at the receiving end of a court summons by any aggrieved codgers.

Not only is it now illegal to force employees to retire before the age of 65 but they can also opt to continue working after that age as long as it isn’t detrimental to the job. On top of that, it’s now illegal to reject applicants on the basis of their age. So trendy clothes shops could well experience an influx of wrinklies applying for work that they would rather give to more youthful and smooth-looking candidates.

Of course employers will always find a way around these liberal tactics by using legal discriminations like, ‘I’m sorry, the zimmer has been proven to be a fire hazard in the workplace,’ or ‘I’m sorry, we don’t employ people who smell of urine.’

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14 Comments on “Ageism at Work is Illegal”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Rhys, there’s funny comment, & their’s offensive - unless you intended this to be an ironically ageist article!

    You wait til you’re 40, & looking for another job. Except that, with the low birth rate, there won’t be so many younger people available, so firms will have to employ older workers. Witness what is happening in Oz!

  2. Rhys Wilcox Says:

    I don’t understand. Are you saying that I should be okay getting another job when I’m 40 or not?

  3. Sharon Says:

    OK, Rhys, imagine you are 60, right, or even 70. Now read your article again - particularly the excuses you suggested firms might give.

    I’m suggesting you might try looking at what you’ve written from someone else’s point of view. It’s called ‘empathy’!

    I have lots of friends in the 70-90+ age group, only one of them uses a zimmer, & none of them smell of urine.

    A I said, unless this was an ironically Ageist article, it’s offensive.

    BTW - I’m (nearly) 50, & not looking for paid employment.

  4. Zaafrod Says:

    I particulary found the \”Smelling of Urine\” excuse not to employ someone very funny indeed. In fact I nearly p!ssed myself laughing. Good job really as I wouldn\’t want to get fired..! Since I\’m around 40 too, I intend to hit my 50\’s to the 100\’s with the same sense of humor as it will be needed a lot more then as my body starts to creak & groan. Besides, comedy is not serious. Go to a news site if you want serious.

  5. Rhys Wilcox Says:

    All I’m saying is that it’s this sort of ott pc, lefty-liberal sentiment that is responsible for putting small companies out of business because of being forced to employ inadequate staff through positive discrimination.

    If a job candidate is not suitable for a position then surely the employer should have the right not to employ that person for whatever reason it may be: women get pregnant, men are potential rapists, old people are a burden on society, young people steal the office stationery and so on.

    If only our society could be more like that Logan’s Run film - I only caught the first 8 minutes but their economy was thriving based on a youthful population and it certainly looked like a utopian society to me.

  6. Dibzva Says:

    Ah, but even Logan’s run had to have Peter Ustinov’s loopy cat-loving nutter.

    ;)

  7. Sharon Says:

    I entirely agree with you about the “ott pc, lefty-liberal sentiment that is responsible for putting small companies out of business because of being forced to employ inadequate staff through positive discrimination.”

    If, however, you want a youthful population then you are one of the ones in a position to do something about it - get married & have children.

    I’ve already done my bit, contributing two more workers to the pool. Because one of the reasons there are more older people around than younger people these days is that the younger people aren’t ’settling down’ & having families. Something to do with wanting to travel, have fun, get established, remain in paid employment, & being shy of commitment, or something I believe.

    BTW - old people are not “a burden on society”, or no more than babies, children, or unemployed people are. If nothing else they deserve respect & proper care because they’ve already worked for the past 60 years, paid their dues, raised families etc (oh, & the various criminal activities some have been caught for).

    It’s important to recognise that ALL other people are PEOPLE, & worth treating as such. If nothing else it emphasises our own value as people.

  8. Rhys Wilcox Says:

    I totally agree with you on that one Sharon. Babies, children and the unemployed are HUGE burdens on society and should not be given jobs just because some disillusioned Marxist roaming the corridors of parliament suddenly gets a bee in his/or her bonnet.

    Probably ‘her’ as I don’t know many men who wear bonnets.

  9. Sanseng Says:

    I got the keys to my new house on Friday and it smells of wee throughout ?? primarily because the previous (now deceased) owner could no longer control her own bladder. I am young-ish (30) and work very hard and remain a glowing asset to my company: ergo, old people smell of wee and young people are good workers.

  10. Sharon Says:

    Sanseng, ever thought of finding out about your house’s previous occupant - what shd did during her life? Because she was young, & a hard worker, once. For that matter, all other things being equal, we’re all going to get old!

    BTW - congrats & all the best in your new home.

  11. Rhys Wilcox Says:

    Ha ha. Nice one Sharon. ‘Old’ and ‘home’. You tell him.

  12. Matt Freeman Says:

    I strongly dislike positive discrimination.

    However, the problem is not that positive discrimination exists - it’s that employers are biased for the wrong reasons. This legislation is an attempt to curb that - however, it is somewhat wrong in tone.

    I think anyone should be eligible for any job they can do - it’s a shame that in some employers minds younger people are automatically better at jobs than older people.

    Maybe there’s a space in the jobsmarketplace for a company that only employs older workers?

  13. Sharon Says:

    “Maybe there??s a space in the jobsmarketplace for a company that only employs older workers?”

    Maybe there is, except that would be ageist discrimination again!

    Why do employers think that younger people are automatically better at their jobs? Dunno. Maybe they think they can get away with paying them less. Maybe they don’t like having older people around them - issues with their own parents? What value experience?

  14. fiona Says:

    oh bliddy heck! just gone through averybodies comments and now realise that i am well past it at 37! every job i went for last year i didnt get as i was always told i was “over qualified for the position”. but funnily enough the people who got the jobs seem to be gum chewing uninterested youngsters( a few apparently still at school doing part time work) but in the main they are the 17-23 year old bracket. now in my area jobs are hard to come by but surely employers’or so you would think,would rather employ someone that would have more staying power, manners, and life experience than people( by there own admission)”got me dole stopped so work here for a while then quit and go back on”. i dont begrudge young people working, been ther done that written novellas etc.. but come on employers no matter what our ages be it 17 or 97 if someone is suitable for the work then emply them! dont shove old(er) pple to the side! btw i dont smell of wee just yet but do have the odd wrinkle!

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