Help the Aged charity calls for anti-age discrimination laws to be extended to cover public services

The government will face calls this week to extend anti-age discrimination law to include the provision of goods, facilities and services.

As the consultation period for the government’s Discrimination Law Review (DLR) comes to an end, a survey by charity Help the Aged has shown 63% of older people feel the government is not doing enough to combat ageism.

Four in five want an outright ban on age discrimination, according to the research – and want to see ageism put on an equal footing with racism and sexism – including a ban on age discrimination in health and social care services.

The charity is campaigning to extend the public sector duty to include age, so that older people’s needs are taken into account in public services.

Kate Jopling, head of public affairs at Help the Aged, said: “It’s high time the government stopped dragging its heels and took an active role in fighting age discrimination.

“We live in a society where racism and sexism are not tolerated, yet age prejudice is tolerated and even accepted in goods, facilities and services. Age is the only equality group left without legislative protection. This is a gross inconsistency, and very short-sighted when you consider that older people are active voters and the fastest-growing population group.”

A dossier of more than 450 responses, Less Equal Than Others: Public responses on age discrimination, will be presented to a DLR representative this week in the fight against ageism.

About 600 age discrimination claims have been registered since the introduction of age discrimination legislation last October.

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