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Age: Discrimination

Question for Women and Equalities

UIN 38436, tabled on 22 July 2021

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she is taking to tackle ageism in society.

Answered on

10 September 2021

The Equality Act prohibits age discrimination in a variety of fields, including employment, the provision of services and the exercise of public functions. Differential treatment based on a person’s age is permitted, but only where this can be objectively justified.

Other legislation in recent years has also helped to tackle ageism – for example the abolition of the default retirement age in 2011 – but our approach goes beyond basic legal protections. For example, to support older workers to remain in work, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers are working with employer organisations – including CIPD, British Chambers of Commerce, ACAS and Local Enterprise Partnerships – to encourage employers to support their older workers, retain them in the workforce and benefit from their skills and experience.

For those who become unemployed, the Government’s Plan for Jobs provides new funding to ensure more people, including those aged 50 and over, get tailored Jobcentre Plus support to help them find work and to build the skills they need to get into work. As part of the Jobcentre Plus offer for people aged 50 and over, we are also providing dedicated support through 50 PLUS Champions, to ensure they fully benefit from the Plan for Jobs package and existing Jobcentre Plus support.

Answered by

Women and Equalities