UK Age Discrimination Regulations Finally Published
Manchester, UK – 17 March 2006.
The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 were finally laid before Parliament on 9 March. The Regulations, which prohibit discrimination, victimisation and harassment on the grounds of age, are due to come into force on 1 October 2006.
David Carmichael, Head of Employment at UK Law Firm Pannone LLP, commented, “The impact of these regulations cannot be underestimated. UK employers will have to look at every aspect of their employment contracts and procedures to ensure that they are not discriminating against not just older employees, but also younger employees.”
As well as protecting employees from direct and indirect discrimination, victimisation and harassment on the grounds of age, the regulations will remove the upper age limit for unfair dismissal and redundancy rights, remove age limits for the receipt of benefits such as SSP (Statutory Sick Pay) and SMP (Statutory Maternity Pay), set a default retirement age of 65 and require employers to justify an earlier retirement age and introduce a new right to request to work on beyond normal retirement age.
Carmichael continued, “Many employers will have to completely re-think their approach to retirement. They can no longer assume that employees will stop working when they reach retirement age and employers will have to start planning for that now.”
Copies of the draft regulations and the response to last year’s Coming of Age consultation paper are available from the Department of Trade and Industry website (link provided below) and guidance on the new regulations will also be available from ACAS (Advisory and Conciliatory Arbitrary Service).
David Carmichael is an Employment Solicitor and Head of the Employment Department at UK law firm Pannone LLP. His experience as an employment lawyer encompasses both contentious and non-contentious work and includes, in particular, executive termination (acting for both employees and employers), restrictive covenant drafting and enforcement by injunctive action (both prosecuting and defending such claims), the employment implications of corporate restructuring and has advised on a number of international legal actions in Europe the USA and Singapore. His work also covers unfair and wrongful dismissal claims, sex discrimination, race discrimination and disability discrimination claims.
Pannone LLP (formerly Pannone & Partners Solicitors) is a full service law firm with over 300 specialist solicitors and lawyers based in Manchester, England.
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