Posted by Richard Woodman, Partner
Older women failed by weak enforcement of age discrimination laws
The Women and Equalities Committee, chaired by Maria Miller MP, is to publish a report today that says the talents of the over 50s are being wasted because of discrimination, bias and outdated employment practices. The report concludes that Government and the Equality and Human …
The Women and Equalities Committee, chaired by Maria Miller MP, is to publish a report today that says the talents of the over 50s are being wasted because of discrimination, bias and outdated employment practices.
The report concludes that Government and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) are failing to enforce the law on age discrimination and calls for recruitment agencies to collect data and report on discrimination against the over 50s.
Richard Woodman, a Partner and Employment Lawyer at Royds Withy King said: “We agree with the Committee’s report that age discrimination is a serious problem in the workplace but would argue against further legislation or enforcement actions. The legislation that exists is robust and is very clear: employers cannot discriminate on the grounds of age, race, sex (including pregnancy and maternity), disability, religion or belief, gender reassignment or sexual orientation.
“Employees and workers have these rights enshrined in legislation which can be enforced in the tribunals; however, we acknowledge that this is “cure and not prevention” and it is incumbent upon employers to embrace diversity in the workplace to ensure employees and workers do not need to resort to the courts to enforce these rights.
“We find the suggestion that recruitment agencies take responsibility to collect and report on discriminatory practices as unusual to say the least. Recruitment agencies, like all employers, need to operate within the current laws, and we do not believe they are best placed or indeed the right businesses to police workplace discrimination.
“If the Committee wished to see meaningful change it would be better to perhaps call on the Government to introduce a mandatory reporting requirement for businesses over a certain size, as it has done with gender pay gap reporting.”
Richard Woodman is available for interview on 07825 274646.
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