More laws are not the answer on age discrimination

Employers do not welcome the EU anti-discrimination
directive on age, delegates at a seminar in the City of London School heard
last night.

As one of the employers most active in taking on an older
workforce, Ray Baker, employee relations controller of  B&Q, said, "We don’t need any more
legislation. If we can ensure that employers actively implement the Code of
Practice on Age, which was launched in June 1999, that should be enough."

The Government has until 2006 to translate the EU’s
anti-discrimination directive into UK laws covering age and disability. The
directive is designed to outlaw discrimination against people at work on the
grounds of their religion, age, disability or sexual orientation. This means
that once it is made law, candidates who believe they are turned down for a
position because, say, they are gay or aged over 50, will be able to take the
employer to an industrial tribunal and claim compensation.

By Karen Higginbottom


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