Age discrimination concerns

How to avoid age discrimination when recruiting


A recent report from the governments’ Women and Equalities Committee on age discrimination in the workplace. found that discrimination, bias and outdated practices exist right across the business world, despite having been explicitly outlawed under regulations introduced in 2006.

The committee urged the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to use its powers to investigate the issue. In turn the EHRC have pledged to take robust enforcement action, using their statutory powers, to tackle unlawful discrimination.

So, there is the ‘potential’ that this may become an area that receives more government scrutiny, due to the report.  

The areas for businesses to consider would be:

  •  Do all your advertised jobs have a Person Specification put together for them – establishing clear and unbiased competences for the role?

  • When short-listing can you show evidence of review against competences, rather than the possibility of decisions made on the basis of factors such as age? It would be ideal that you keep records (subject to GDPR compliance!) that provide a clear audit trail, such as using a points-based approach.

  • Can you provide evidence for your selection decisions? Again, some documented record of the selection criteria that was used would be useful.

  • Are there clear policies in place that show the company approach in this area and provide guidance to staff?

  • Have all staff who undertake interviewing (for internal and external roles) been trained/briefed on their need for legislative compliance? It would help to ensure you have a record of any such training that has taken place.