Wednesday, 16 June 1999

Age Discrimination Code Published

Age Discrimination Code Published

The government published the long-awaited Code of Practice on Age Diversity on Employment this morning.

The Code is voluntary and (unlike the ACAS Codes of Practice) has no statutory basis. Critics of the code assert that it is toothless and will has no sanctions to encourage bad employers to comply with its provisions.

The Code sets out six areas in which good practice is advocated. These

- Recruitment
- Selection
- Promotion
- Training & development
- Redundancy
- Retirement

Various guidelines are set out under each heading. They are unexciting (such as use objective job criteria, avoid using age limits or age range in job adverts and do not see age as the sole criterion when operating early retirement scheme), particularly in the light of the lengthy and wide consultation period that has been operating since last year.

Tony Blair states, in a Press Release issued this morning, Our country is getting older. Thats not a burden, it is an opportunity. Its our job as a government to seize that opportunity.

The governments refusal to introduce legislation, contrary to its express promise to the House of Commons on 9th February 1996, and its vague promise in the 1997 election manifesto, is to be regretted. There is an analysis of the history of age discrimination legislation and authorities in issue 8 of Employment Lawyer magazine (CCH Editions).

Copies of the Code of Practice are available from the internet on For a copy of the above age discrimination article, please Email me at

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