Age discrimination in the workplace is a continuing and pervasive issue.  Discrimination in an employment context on the basis of age is prohibited under s.5 of the Equality Act 2010. The Equality Act 2010 consolidated the myriad legislation relating to discrimination in the workplace.

In this post we’ll take a look at 3 issues:

  • Who qualifies to claim age discrimination;
  • What is the protected characteristic of age?; and
  • What types of race discrimination are there?

Who qualifies to claim for age discrimination?

Unlike other rights which are restricted to employees (such as unfair dismissal and certain TUPE-related rights), equality rights (rights prohibiting discrimination) can be exercised by both employees and workers. There is also no qualifying period (unlike unfair dismissal) to allow these rights to be exercised.

What is the protected characteristic of age?

  • A reference to a person who is of a particular age group
  • A reference to a person who is of the same age group
  • A reference to a persons defined by reference to age, whether a particular age or a range of ages

To explain this issue in more detail, a particular age would be, for example, 30 years old or 65 years old. A range of ages would be, for example, employees aged 50 to 65.

What types of age discrimination are there?

In future posts we’ll take a look at:

  • Who is protected under the age discrimination legislation
  • The various types of discrimination (direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, age-related harassment, and victimisation)
  • The evidence of age discrimination
  • Compensation relating to age discrimination
  • The defences to age discrimination


The Direct 2 Lawyers Employment Team post daily on interesting employment law cases, Employment Tribunal judgments and Employment Appeal Tribunal judgments. All of the Employment Team posts are written by qualified specialist employment lawyers

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