Understanding the management of diversity in the workplace is a significant concern for most employers. An employer already has an obligation to operate in a fashion that avoids sex, race, disability, religious, sexual orientation or age discrimination. Potentially, age discrimination is the biggest management challenge.
By virtue of seniority and experience, the best paid staff are likely to be the older ones. If an individual feels that he/she has been passed over for promotion or selected for redundancy on the grounds of age, then not just is that person likely to have a great deal at stake leading them to consider a claim on the grounds of age discrimination, they are also more likely to have the funds to bring a case. Regardless of age discrimination, the reality is that a younger employee is much more likely to find work quicker than somebody in their 50s. An employee in his/her 50s claiming dismissal was age related and that he/she will not work again before retirement, is likely to prove a very expensive risk.
Since the Equality Act in 2010 new concepts such as associative discrimination are in force meaning that you do not have to have one of the “characteristics” to be discriminated against; e.g. an employee may feel discriminated against or harassed for being responsible for an aged disabled parent.
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