Age discrimination set to become most common form of discrimination

Age discrimination is quickly becoming the most common form of discrimination, despite new laws being implemented less than a year ago to prevent it, new research has found.

A survey of just under 2,000 people, commissioned by business information provider Croner, found that 11% of respondents believe they had been discriminated against because of their age.

This comes on the back of a recent rise in employment tribunals, which increased by 15% in between the period 2006-07.

Gillian Dowling, technical consultant at Croner, says: “Despite the massive efforts to ensure all employers were aware of how to comply with age discrimination legislation, this form of prejudice has quickly become one of the more prominent forms of workplace discrimination defined by employment law.

“We’re advising employers to ensure that ‘too young’ or ‘too old’ is no longer a factor in any employment decision-making, such as hiring and firing, and they should also be aware of any unfair treatment of their employees,” Dowling concluded.

Other findings include:

  • Age discrimination is experienced by almost equal numbers of men and women (11% compared with 10%)

  • 73% of respondents have never been the victim of discrimination on the grounds of age, sex, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or disability

  • Only 3% of respondents felt they have been discriminated against because of their race or disability

  • Only 2% of employees felt they were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or religion or belief.

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