Employers get age bias alert

Employers have been urged to overhaul their recruitment, retention and promotion procedures ahead of the EU anti-discrimination directive on age becoming law in 2006.

The head of HR at airline Easyjet, Nigel Connolly, told a Recruitment Society seminar in London last week, “Employers have nothing to fear if age diversity policies are incorporated into their equal opportunities procedures.

“However if employers are discriminating on the basis of age, they should be prosecuted.”

He called on employers to examine job adverts to ensure there is no age bias.

The Government has until 2006 to translate the EU’s anti-discrimination directive into UK laws. The directive is designed to outlaw discrimination against people at work on the grounds of religion, age, disability or sexual orientation.

A senior employment lawyer warned that employers might not have until 2006 to enact changes.

Jonathan Exten-Wright, partner at DLA’s City office, said, “If the other legislation on sexual orientation has to come into force in 2003, there is a likelihood that an equal opportunities-driven government will propose to bring in the rest of the legislation at this time.”

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