FREE please take a copy Calling time on age discrimination A mini-guide to age discrimination at work Contents 1. Your new rights 3 2. What does the new law cover? 5 What areas won’t be covered? 7 Who has rights under the new law? 8 3. The different types of age discrimination 9 4. When is age discrimination allowed? 13 When age discrimination can be justified 14 Exceptions to the law 16 5. How does the law apply to you? 19 How will the new retirement procedure work? 27 Unfair dismissal 31 Too old for training? 32 6. How do I enforce my rights? 34 How to make a claim about education or training 38 7. Getting help 39 For free advice and representation 41 1. Your new rights New legislation, effective from 1 October 2006, means that employers can no longer discriminate against employees on grounds of age. The new law – the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 – applies in England, Scotland and Wales,1 and provides protection against age discrimination in employment, training and adult education, for people of all ages. Age Concern has produced this mini-guide to provide a summary of who will benefit from the new laws, and how you can take action – as well as showing you where to find more information. If you feel that you have been discriminated against on grounds of your age, read on to find out more. 1 Similar regulations are being introduced in Northern Ireland. 4 2. What does the new law cover? The new law covers age discrimination in most aspects of employment, such as applying for a job, being considered for training or promotion, being made redundant and being dismissed. It also covers most training courses. Recruitment Unfair dismissal With the new regulations, The removal of the statutory upper employers will generally not be age limit means that employees allowed to refuse to hire someone over the age of 65 will now because of their age. But there be able to challenge for unfair is an exception to this rule if the dismissal. See page 25 for more. applicant is over, or six months away from, age 65, or the Statutory sick pay employer’s normal retirement People who are still working after age, if this is higher. See page the age of 65 will now be entitled 20 for more. Employers can also to statutory sick pay for up to 28 set age requirements for a job if weeks, in the same way as other there is a genuine occupational employees are. requirement or they can otherwise justify doing so. See page 14. Redundancy If employees over 65 are made redundant, they will now be entitled to statutory redundancy pay. It will also be unlawful for employers to use age as a factor when selecting people for redundancy (unless the employer can justify this). See page 24 for more. 6 What areas won’t be covered? Retirement Volunteers If your employer tries to force Volunteers won’t have protection you to retire under the age of 65 from discrimination. Unpaid work (or their normal retirement age will be covered if it’s undertaken if higher), you can claim for as part of a training course. age discrimination and unfair Unpaid office holders will have dismissal. And employees over 65 protection, but only if they are have the right to request to carry government appointed, for on working. See page 25 for more. example magistrates. Training The provision of If you’re in training which provides goods and services you with skills relevant to work – The law doesn’t apply to the whether you’re employed or provision of goods and services. not – you’ll be able to take This means that it will still be action if you’re discriminated lawful for insurance companies against because of your age. and health care providers, See page 32 for more. for example, to discriminate on the grounds of age. Education If you’re in further education, higher education (including universities) or any other education programme which provides you with skills relevant to work, you are covered by the legislation. However, school age education is outside the scope of the law. See page 32 for more. 7 Who has rights under the new law? Under the new law, these people Under the new law, these people have rights in employment: have rights in other areas: employees people using career guidance services self-employed people people applying for a office holders (for example, professional qualification company directors, clergy) members of trade unions contract and agency workers or professional associations job applicants members of occupational former employees pension funds Under the new law, these people have rights in education: people applying for adult, further or higher education, or training students in adult, further or higher education, or training former students in adult, further or higher education, or training 8 3. The different types of age discrimination It’s not always easy to spot age discrimination, as there are several kinds, some of which are subtle and may be unintentional. Discrimination can be direct or Indirect discrimination means indirect. Under the new law, direct having a policy or practice that and indirect discrimination will be puts people of a certain age group unlawful unless the employer can at a disadvantage, compared with justify the discrimination, or if an other people. exception applies (see section 4). Direct discrimination means For example: A company restricts treating someone less favourably recruitment to recent graduates – because of their age, or because fewer older people would be able of the age they appear to be. to meet this requirement. For example: A company refuses For example: A firm introduces to recruit a person, simply a fitness test, which all employees because they’re over 50. are required to pass. This could be indirect discrimination if fewer older employees are likely to be For example: An organisation able to pass the test. However, has a practice of only promoting it may be possible for the firm people under the age of 50 to justify this policy. It would to senior positions. have to show that the testing policy was necessary to achieve health and safety aims, and that there was no less discriminatory way of achieving them. 10 Harassment Harassment, or bullying, based For example: An older worker’s on someone’s age is unlawful colleagues repeatedly make under the new law. The legal jokes about them at work, based meaning of harassment is: on their age, which the person unwanted conduct, on the grounds finds offensive. of age, which has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s For example: Someone has dignity, or creating an intimidating, a partner who is significantly humiliating or offensive younger than them and this is environment for that person. the basis of repeated comments It is also unlawful to harass and jokes from colleagues. someone on the grounds of the age This could be unlawful if the of someone they associate with. person finds it humiliating or offensive. If you make a complaint of harassment to the employment tribunal (see section 6), it will consider whether it was reasonable for you to be offended in the circumstances. So if someone is seen to have taken offence unreasonably, the tribunal can decide that the behaviour was not unlawful. 11 Victimisation Instructions to discriminate This has a very specific meaning If an employer instructs an under discrimination law. employee to do something Victimisation means being which would amount to age treated unfairly as a result of discrimination, it will be unlawful making a complaint of age for the employer to treat that discrimination, or giving evidence employee unfairly because they when somebody else complains refuse to carry out the instruction, of age discrimination. or because they complain about the instruction. For example: An employee is dismissed after complaining that For example: An employee they are not receiving the same involved in a recruitment decision training as younger colleagues, is disciplined for not carrying out because of their age. the employer’s instruction only to invite people under age 40 for a job interview. For example: A worker is passed over for a promotion that they otherwise would have got, because they made a witness statement supporting a colleague’s complaint of age discrimination. Unlike direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation can never be justified by an employer. 12 4. When is age discrimination allowed? There are certain circumstances where it is lawful for employers to discriminate on the grounds of age. Some types of age discrimination are not covered by the law, and some other types of discrimination can be justified by employers. Where age discrimination can be justified There may be certain It is up to the employer to circumstances when employers argue that the aim they are trying can justify discriminating on to meet is a legitimate one. grounds of age, but they have Examples of aims that employers to prove, with evidence, that it’s might use could be: a proportionate way of achieving health and safety of employees a legitimate aim. Proportionate and customers; means that what the employer is doing has to be appropriate the need for an employee to and necessary, so they would be in the post for a reasonable have to show that: time before retirement; or there was no alternative, business needs and efficiency. less discriminatory way of achieving their aim; what they are doing does actually achieve the aim; and the benefits of achieving the aim outweigh the harmful effects of the discrimination. 14 It will be for the tribunals and For example: An employer could courts to decide, on a case by advertise a position saying that at case basis, whether a measure least five years’ experience in that is justified or not. Here are or a similar position is required for some examples of arguments the job. This is potentially indirect an employer might make. age discrimination, as fewer younger people (say in the age group 16-24) would have five For example: An employer might years’ work experience. The argue that it was appropriate and employer may try to argue that necessary to refuse to recruit this requirement is justified, people over 60 where there is a because it is genuinely necessary long and expensive training period for the needs of the business before starting the job (for example, for the employee to have that air traffic controllers). In this case, amount of experience to be the legitimate aim would be the able to fill the post, and that need for a person to be in a job for there is no alternative, less a reasonable period before they discriminatory way of achieving retire, and for the employer to see a their aim. Depending on the return on the investment they have circumstances, this argument put into training the employee. The may or may not succeed. employer would have to show that there was no less discriminatory way of achieving the aim. 15 Exceptions to the law The legislation contains some Generally, any benefit linked to exceptions which enable employers, length of service will be lawful, but under certain circumstances, to if the length of service required is discriminate on the grounds of more than five years, the employer age, without having to justify it. must show that it is expected to (For information on exceptions meet a business need, such as relating to the recruitment and encouraging loyalty, motivating retirement of people over 65 workers or rewarding experience. see section 5). This is an easier test for employers to meet than the normal test for Where there are benefits justifying discrimination. that link to length of service If the length of service required Many employers have policies is less than five years, it will which link pay and benefits to automatically be lawful, without an employee’s length of service. the employer having to meet the For example, additional holiday business need test. entitlement for employees after two years’ service. This may indirectly discriminate against younger people as they are less likely to have been with an employer long enough to qualify for the benefit. There is an exception to allow this kind of practice to continue in most circumstances. 16 Where there’s a genuine Where there’s a need occupational requirement for ‘positive action’ An employer can set an age ‘Positive action’ means doing requirement for a job if there is something to prevent or a genuine need for a person to compensate for disadvantages have a characteristic related to a experienced by people of a certain age. The example usually certain age group. This will given is of an actor playing the role be allowed in two areas: of a person of a particular age. for access to training and education facilities; or to encourage people to take up employment opportunities. This means employers will be able to target their recruitment advertising at older people, for example, as long as the position itself is open to all ages. Selection on the basis of a candidate’s age will not be lawful, unless it can be justified. For example: A company with a disproportionately young workforce, aware that older people rarely apply to it for jobs, could advertise saying: ‘we particularly welcome applications from people over the age of 45, as this age group is currently under- represented, but appointment will be made on merit alone.’ 17 Where existing law stipulates Where the employer relies on an age requirement the National Minimum Wage An employer can discriminate for young people on the grounds of age if this is The National Minimum Wage required by existing law. is split into three different rates depending on the age of the worker. It will be lawful for For example: An employer employers to pay workers different can refuse to employ someone rates according to their age as under 18 to serve alcohol in long as the age bands mirror a bar, in order to comply with those of the minimum wage licensing requirements. (16-17 year olds, 18-22 year olds and adult rate), and the younger workers are paid less than the adult rate of the minimum wage. It does not allow employers to pay different rates to those within the same age category. 18 5. How does the law apply to you? This section looks at your new rights in relation to particular problems you may be experiencing with employment or training. “I’m looking for work” Proving age discrimination in A lack of protection the recruitment process can be for people over age 65 difficult, as an employer is unlikely There is an exception under to make it obvious that they the new law which means that turned someone down because if you are: they were too old, or too young. over age 65; How do you prove age over your employer’s normal discrimination in recruitment? retirement age if this is higher In order to successfully claim than age 65; or age discrimination in relation to within six months of age 65, recruitment, an applicant will need or the employer’s normal to show evidence that age could retirement age if this is higher, have been the reason that they did not get the job.The employer then you have no protection will then have to prove that they against age discrimination when did not discriminate against the applying for jobs. An employer will applicant. There is a questionnaire be able to refuse to consider you procedure that can be used to for a job over this age, without obtain extra information from having to justify it, and you will employers; see page 36 to find have no way of challenging or out more about this. appealing against the decision. 20 What about job adverts? Q: “I’m applying for a job and Employers should not include age the application form asks me to limits in job adverts, and should give my date of birth. Do I have avoid using words which could to provide it?” suggest they are looking for applicants from a particular age A: Employers can still ask for your group. For example an advert date of birth. This would not which states that the company automatically be age discrimination, requires a ‘young, enthusiastic’ but it could be used as evidence to person could be used as evidence suggest discrimination, if you do of age discrimination. not get the job, and you believe this is because of your age. It is good practice for employers to remove the date of birth from the application form and to ask for this on a separate equal opportunities monitoring form instead. The person deciding who to shortlist for interview or who to hire should then not see this information. 21 Q: “I’m applying for jobs for Q: “I’ve been told by an which I am well qualified, but employer that they won’t I haven’t been offered any consider me for a job because interviews yet. I think this is I’m too old. I’m age 66 and because of my age (I’m 61). the employer has a retirement Does the new law help me?” age of 65. Can they do this?” A: It is unlawful for employers to A: The new law allows employers reject you for a job on the grounds to reject people for a job if they of your age (unless they can are over age 65, or the employer’s justify this, or it is allowed by an normal retirement age if this is exception under the new law such over 65, or if they are within six as the exception covering people months of that age. Unfortunately, over 65 or for genuine occupational this means that you do not have requirements – see pages 14-18). any protection under the new law, It can be difficult to prove that even if the employer openly admits discrimination has taken place, that your age is the reason they but the questionnaire procedure are not considering you for a job. can help you to get more information from the employer. 22 “I’m not getting a fair deal at work” The new law gives you the right Q: “I have been passed over not to suffer a disadvantage for promotion, even though at work because of your age. I have more experience and This means you should not qualifications than the younger have less favourable terms and person who got the position. conditions, or access to promotion I think it is because of my age. opportunities, than younger It seems that it is only people colleagues, because of your age. under age 50 who are promoted to senior positions in this company.” A: If your employer has a practice of only promoting younger people, this will be unlawful age discrimination. The difficulty could be in proving this behaviour to have taken place. You will need evidence to show that age could have been a factor in the decision not to promote you – for example, this could be evidence that you were better qualified for the job, and that people over 50 rarely get promotion. It will then be for your employer to show that age was not the reason and that they did not discriminate against you. You could use the questionnaire procedure (see page 36) under the new law to request information from your employer about why you did not get the job, and about the ages of people who are promoted to senior positions. 23 “I’ve been made redundant” Q: “I am being made This means that older people redundant. I’m age 65. will continue to be paid at a What am I entitled to?” higher rate than younger people, even though this appears to be discrimination on the grounds A: The new law abolishes the of age. The government has upper age and lower age limits for said it believes this difference statutory redundancy payments, in treatment is justified. so people aged 65 and over are now entitled to redundancy pay You may be entitled to more calculated in the same way as than the statutory minimum for younger people. redundancy payment under your contract of employment. The law Age and length of service will sets out ways in which employers still be used as a factor in can make enhanced redundancy calculating statutory redundancy payments using the same age pay (and compensation for unfair bands as used in the calculation dismissal). People will be entitled of statutory redundancy. to one and a half week’s pay (capped at £290 per week) for It will be unlawful for employers each year of service in which they to use age as a factor when were aged 41 or over, one week’s considering who to select for pay for each year they were under redundancy (unless they can 41, and half a week’s pay for justify this). Using length of each year they were under 22, up service (for example, last in first to a maximum 20 years’ service. out) to decide who to select could be indirect discrimination, but employers could try to justify this. 24 “I feel I’ve been “I don’t want unfairly dismissed” to retire” Previously, if an employer wanted There is no national retirement to dismiss an employee who age. It’s important not to get was aged over 65 (or above the ‘retirement age’ confused with employer’s normal retirement age ‘pension age’, as they’re different if different), the employee had things altogether. The state no rights to dispute it. This was pension age – the age when you’re because there was an upper age entitled to draw your state pension limit for unfair dismissal claims. – is currently 60 for women and 65 for men, but employees do not The new law gets rid of this age actually have to retire at this age. limit, which means that employees Working after state pension age over age 65 will be able to does not affect your right to the challenge an employer’s decision to state pension. However, you can dismiss them, as long as they meet choose to delay drawing your state the other eligibility requirements, pension while you’re still working such as having at least one year’s and this will entitle you to a higher service. However, the introduction annual income or a lump sum of the new provisions on retirement payment when you do retire. (see below) creates a limit to this new right – where the employer Around one third of employers have says the reason for dismissal is compulsory normal retirement retirement and follows the correct age. The rest have no retirement procedure, the employee cannot age at all and work more flexibly. successfully claim unfair dismissal. 25 What the new law will do What the new law will not affect The new law creates a new The new law does not affect ‘default retirement age’ of 65 voluntary retirement. It will still be (this will be the same for men possible for a person to choose to and women). This means that if retire under age 65 if they agree your employer tries to force you this with their employer. It will to retire under the age of 65, you also not affect state pension age. can claim for age discrimination Employers can still set minimum and for unfair dismissal. To force and maximum age limits for retirement under age 65 membership of occupational employers will have to justify it. pension schemes. There are a See page 31. number of other exceptions aimed at allowing occupational pension From 1 October 2006 employees schemes to continue to operate have a new right to request to without significant changes. continue working beyond the date when the employer wants them to retire. However, it will usually be lawful for an employer to force employees over the age of 65 to retire, as long as they follow the correct procedure. The ‘default retirement age’ only applies to employees and civil servants. Other sectors of the working population, such as police officers, office holders and partners in firms will not be covered and so forced retirement at any age would have to be justified. 26 How will the new retirement procedure work? From 1 October 2006 you have 1. Your employer gives the right to request to stay on in you notice of retirement your job after your employer’s From 1 October 2006 your retirement date. It’s important employer must give you a minimum to remember, though, that this of six months’ (and a maximum is only a right to request staying of twelve months’) notice of your on. Your employer can refuse retirement date. At the same time, the request, and the law does they must tell you that you have the not require them to give reasons right to request to continue working. for their decision. It will only There are special arrangements be possible to challenge the for employers to give notice of employer’s decision if they retirement to people whom they have not followed the correct wish to retire between 1 October procedure, which is as follows. 2006 and 1 April 2007 (the first six months after the law comes into force). Employers are not required to give at least six months’ notice in this situation, as the law will not have been in force at the relevant time for giving notice. Details of the special arrangements can be found on the Age Concern website www.ageconcern.org.uk/ agediscrimination 27 2. You can request “I am writing to request not to to carry on working retire on your intended date of If you make a request not to be [insert employer’s intended date retired, your employer has a duty of retirement]. I am making this to consider that request. The request under paragraph 5 of procedure they must follow is Schedule 6 of the Employment known as the ‘duty to consider Equality (Age) Regulations 2006. procedure’. Your request must be in I propose that my employment writing, and be submitted three to should continue [you must specify six months before the intended one of the following]: retirement date. The wording below shows what information indefinitely you must include in your letter: for [insert a specific period, e.g. twelve months] until [insert specific date] [You could also include information in support of your request, such as examples of how allowing you to continue working could benefit the organisation.] I look forward to hearing from you with your suggested time for a meeting to discuss my request.” 28 3. Your employer holds 4. The right to appeal a meeting with you If your request is refused, or your Your employer must then hold employer agrees to continued a meeting to discuss the request employment for a shorter period with you, within a reasonable than was requested, you have period of time. You’re entitled to the right to an appeal meeting. be accompanied to this meeting The employer must inform you by a colleague of your choice. of this right when they give you Your employer must then notify notice of the original decision. you of their decision as soon as If you request an appeal you is reasonably practicable. If the must do so as soon as is practical employer has agreed to the after being told of your employer’s request, they must confirm decision, setting out the grounds whether employment will continue of the appeal. Your employer indefinitely, or for a certain period. must arrange a meeting within If the request has been refused, a reasonable period. Again, you they must confirm the intended have the right to be accompanied date of retirement. by a colleague of your choice. 5. Your employer’s final decision As soon as is reasonably practical after the appeal meeting, your employer must give notice of their decision, giving details as in step 3 above. 29 Q: “I’ve been given less than six Q: “What if retirement might months’ notice for retirement. not be the real reason for What are my rights?” dismissal?” A: If you’re given less than six A: The requirement for employers months’ notice of your retirement to give a minimum of six months’ date, or of your right to request not notice of retirement is intended to to retire, you can claim up to eight prevent employers using retirement weeks’ pay at the employment to cover up for another reason tribunal. This is currently limited for dismissing the employee – to a maximum of £290 per for example, redundancy or an week, so the maximum total employee’s poor performance. compensation would be £2,320 As long as there is a minimum of (figures correct as at October six months’ notice, an employment 2006). The compensation limits tribunal will accept that retirement usually go up every February. is the genuine reason for the dismissal, and if the ‘duty to If your employer fails to give you consider procedure’ has been at least six months’ notice, they followed correctly, the dismissal will should still tell you about your right be fair. If retirement is not the real to request to continue working, reason for dismissal, when less than as soon as possible. If they give six months’ notice has been given, you less than two weeks’ notice, it will almost certainly be an unfair the retirement will automatically dismissal, as the employer will not be an unfair dismissal. have followed the correct procedure If the dismissal was out of the for dismissing for another reason. blue, with little notice, and little attempt has been made to follow the ‘duty to consider procedure’, the tribunal is less likely to accept that retirement was really the reason for the dismissal. 30 Unfair dismissal A forced retirement will not A forced retirement could be an unfair dismissal if: be an unfair dismissal if: you are over 65 (or over your you are given less than employer’s normal retirement six months’, but more than age if this is higher), and two weeks’, notice of your retirement date and/or your your employer gives you right to request staying on. between six and twelve months’ notice of your retirement date, In these circumstances it will and your right to request not be for the tribunal to decide if to retire, and retirement was the real reason for the dismissal. your employer follows the correct procedure if you do make a request to stay on. A forced retirement will be an unfair dismissal if: you are given less than two weeks’ notice of your retirement date and/or your right to request staying on, or your employer does not follow the ‘duty to consider procedure’ if you make a request to stay on. 31 Too old for training? It’s not just people who are Course providers can set age employed who benefit from the limits for admission to a course new legislation. People in adult if they can show this is covered education and training are by the positive action exception protected, too, as course providers (see page 17). They have to are not allowed to discriminate show that the age restriction on the grounds of age. All further is expected to compensate for education, higher education disadvantages experienced by (including university courses), people in the age group at which adult learning and training which the course is aimed. provides you with skills relevant to work is covered by the legislation. For example: An IT course Training provided by employers restricted to people over 60 and other organisations on their would be lawful if it could be behalf is also included. shown that people over 60 face As with employment, both direct a disadvantage in that area of and indirect discrimination is work, and that the age restriction unlawful, unless the course for admission to the course provider can justify the was expected to compensate discrimination. Victimisation for this disadvantage. and harassment on the grounds of age is also unlawful. A course provider has to provide courses to people of all ages on the same terms, without treating people of a particular age group less favourably (again, unless this can be justified or is covered by an exception). 32 Q: “My employer won’t agree Q: “A course I want to go on to let me go on a training course at my local college has an that my younger colleagues upper age limit of 60. I’m 67. are all going on. He says it’s What can I do?” not cost-effective to invest in training for me when I’m A: Your college would be acting approaching retirement.” unlawfully by setting an age limit for people attending a course, A: This could be unlawful direct unless they can show it is discrimination (see page 10) justified, or it is covered by an as you are being treated less exception under the new law. favourably than younger They cannot argue that a course colleagues because of your age. is for working age people, as you Your employer may try to argue may be 67 and wanting work. that they are justified in refusing you training for reasons of business efficiency. They would need to take into account the cost of training staff of all ages, bearing in mind that other staff may leave soon after training, for reasons unconnected to retirement. If you were to claim age discrimination, the tribunal would have to decide whether refusing you training was an appropriate and necessary way of achieving a legitimate aim. 33 6. How do I enforce my rights? If you think you’ve experienced age discrimination at work, when applying for a job, or in connection with education or training, there are certain procedures you’ll need to follow. 2. Use your employer’s Generally, if your claim is against grievance procedure your current employer, you won’t If the problem is not resolved be able to start the claim at the informally, you should make a tribunal unless you’ve attempted formal complaint using your to resolve the dispute first of all employer’s grievance procedure. through your employer’s grievance Your employer is required by law process. Follow these steps if to have such a procedure in place. you think that you have been You should put your grievance in subjected to age discrimination writing, and your employer must by your employer. then arrange a meeting to discuss it with you. You have the right to 1. Raise the subject be accompanied at this meeting informally with your employer by a colleague or a union First of all, you should raise representative. If you are a the problem informally with member of a union, contact your your manager. union representative for advice on using the grievance procedure. If your complaint is against a training or education provider, you could try using that provider’s complaints procedure if it has one. If your complaint is about dismissal, or discrimination when applying for a job, you do not have to use the employer’s grievance procedure. 3. The right to appeal If you’re not satisfied with your employer’s decision following this meeting, you have the right to an appeal meeting, again with your employer, and again you have the right to be accompanied. 35 4. The questionnaire procedure If you need more evidence or Or it could provide evidence to information in order to decide suggest that discrimination did whether you should bring a claim take place, for example if only at the employment tribunal applicants under a certain age under the regulations, there is a were invited to interview, and questionnaire procedure you can you were more qualified than use in order to request information the successful candidate. from your employer, or the person You should send the questionnaire who your claim would be against. before starting a tribunal claim, This is particularly useful if you or within 21 days of submitting think you’ve been discriminated your claim to the tribunal. If the against when applying for a job, employer fails to respond to your but have no firm evidence of this. questionnaire within eight weeks, For example, you could ask the or gives evasive answers to employer why your application was reasonable questions, you can not successful, and to provide ask the tribunal to infer that the information such as the ages of employer has discriminated other applicants, the age of those against you, in the absence of invited for interview and the age an explanation to the contrary. of the successful applicant. You may want to seek advice This information could suggest before using the questionnaire that no discrimination took place, procedure. See section 7 to find for example if there was a good out where you can get help. reason that you were not offered the job, or the person who was For an example of a questionnaire hired was actually older than you. for this procedure, see www.ageconcern.org.uk/ agediscrimination 36 5. Taking a claim to tribunal To start a claim at the employment If you have submitted your tribunal for discrimination, grievance in writing to your harassment or unfair dismissal, employer within three you must complete the months from the date of application form ET1 and return the discrimination, you will it to the tribunal office within automatically get an extension three months of the date of the of another three months in discrimination or dismissal. which to submit your tribunal The time limit is the same for application. most other types of claim, but for If you submit your application claiming a redundancy payment, within the initial three months, the time limit is six months rather without having first tried to than three. follow your employer’s grievance You are expected to use your procedure, your application employer’s grievance procedure will be returned to you, and you before applying to the tribunal. will be given an extension of a You should submit your grievance further three months, as long as in writing and then allow at least you start your grievance within 28 days to pass before submitting one month of the original three your application to the tribunal. month deadline. The three month time limit can be extended, to allow you time to follow the grievance procedure, in the following circumstances: 37 6. Conciliation through ACAS It is extremely important that If you start a claim, an Advisory, you get your form to the tribunal Conciliation and Arbitration before the relevant time limit Service (ACAS) officer will contact expires, as your claim will almost both you and your employer and certainly not be considered if it is act as a mediator between you, late. If you are in any doubt about to attempt to reach an agreement which time limit applies to you, to settle the dispute. you should seek expert advice. ACAS is an independent, publicly The main thing to remember is funded organisation with a duty not to leave it too late before to attempt to help the parties getting help. in an employment dispute to You can obtain an application reach a settlement, before the form (ET1) from the employment case is decided at an employment tribunals public enquiry office tribunal hearing. (0845 795 9775) and return it by post, fax or by hand; or you can complete and submit How to make a claim the form online at about education or www.employmenttribunals.gov.uk training If your claim relates to an If your claim is about education or training course discrimination in recruitment, provided by a further or higher you are not expected to follow education institution, it must the employer’s grievance be made at the county court procedure before making a (sheriff court in Scotland), rather claim to the tribunal, as you than at the employment tribunal. are not actually an employee. You’ll need to complete claim You must submit a claim to form N1, giving details of your the tribunal within three months claim. The time limit for starting of the act of discrimination. your claim is six months from the date of the discrimination. 38 7. Getting help For further information and advice on your rights under the new law there are a number of organisations you can contact. ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation The Employers’ Forum on Age and Arbitration Service) provides (www.efa.org.uk) offers a wealth guidance on the regulations and of invaluable information aimed on employment rights in general. at employers. Call its helpline 08457 47 47 47 Help the Aged – information or visit www.acas.org.uk for and about older people – Advicenow visit www.helptheaged.org.uk (www.advicenow.org.uk) is a National Institute for Adult and website that brings together Continuing Education (NIACE) high-quality information about provides information about the new the law and your rights, including legislation as it affects education on age discrimination. and training. Call 0116 204 4200 Age Concern Information Line or visit www.niace.org.uk – as well as sending out this mini- TAEN (The Age and Employment guide, Age Concern has a wide range Network) is committed to creating of information for older people – an effective job market for people call free on 0800 00 99 66. In in mid and later life. It works Scotland call the Scottish Helpline through 250 member organisations for Older People at Age Concern and by influencing public policy. Scotland on 0845 125 9732, Call 020 7843 1590 or visit textphone 0845 226 5851. www.taen.org.uk and Age Positive is a government www.agebusters.org.uk campaign promoting age diversity in employment. Visit www.agepositive.gov.uk for more. 40 For free advice and representation Your local Age Concern can give Some solicitors offer a free initial you information about the law and meeting to discuss whether you will help you find advice in your area have a potential claim. – visit www.ageconcern.org.uk, If you have legal expense call 0800 00 99 66 or check your local phone book for the insurance, perhaps as part of contact details. In Scotland, a household insurance policy, call 0845 125 9732 or visit you should check this to see www.ageconcernscotland.org.uk if it will cover a solicitor’s costs for a tribunal claim. Visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau – find one near you on Age Concern's new book www.citizensadvice.org.uk or Your Rights: Working over 50 look in your local phone book. is a comprehensive guide to employment options for the There may be a law centre, over 50s. Topics covered include: or independent advice agency the new age discrimination law, providing free advice in your area. redundancy and employment rights, See www.lawcentres.org.uk, job hunting, self-employment, www.adviceuk.org.uk, in support for those out of work, Scotland www.govanlc.com/salc, planning for retirement and much or look in your phone book. more. It is packed with advice Community Legal Service (CLS) on the many questions that arise. Direct (England and Wales only) It costs £8.99, and can be ordered can give free initial advice over by phoning 0870 442 2120 the phone, and direct you to local or online at www.ace.org.uk/ advice agencies and solicitors – bookshop contact www.clsdirect.org.uk or phone 0845 345 4345. In Scotland contact the Scottish Legal Aid Board www.slab.org.uk, 0131 226 7061. If you’re a member of a trade union, you’ll be able to contact your representative for advice. 41 Produced by Age Concern, with funding from the DTI. The content of this document is designed to provide general information only. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, it does not constitute legal or other professional advice. The mini-guide is available in Welsh and in accessible formats. Contact the Age Concern Information Line 0800 00 99 66 Did you find this mini-guide useful? Please let us know by visiting www.ageconcern.org.uk/ agediscrimination Age Concern is a federation of registered charities. Printed on recycled paper. Published September 2006. Copyright Age Concern England.
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