age discrimination in the workplace
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age discrimination at work
Age discrimination is all around us and the workplace is no exception. It seems to be weirdly socially acceptable in a way that other kinds of discrimination are not, for example, homophobia or racism. Casual age discrimination in employment can lead to serious issues for some workers. For example, undermining comments about “being past it” or “too old for the job” can really undermine a person’s mental wellbeing. We know from experience that every year people are pushed to leave early because of this attitude. We advise them.
The Government abolished the default retirement age which at that time meant that an employee could be forced to retire. This is no longer the law. Age discrimination at work seems to be on the rise because it is a backdoor way for employers to push out older workers. We regularly act for bankers and financiers in their 50s who are viewed as being past their prime. Men and women. For women, the age connotation and attitude can be worse around menopause. We’ve helped senior women with issues around discrimination against age.
Age discrimination lawyers sometimes deal with age discrimination at the other end of the age spectrum. It is not only older workers who suffer from it. We have also represented clients who have been poorly treated, denied promotion, etc because they are considered to be too young for the job.
In all its forms age discrimination is completely unacceptable and can seriously damage your health, your career and your finances. It can sometimes be difficult to prove like many other forms of discrimination because it can be subtly undermining: that does not stop us from getting involved and representing your best interests.
For more information on age discrimination check out the useful online resources below.
If you think you are having a problem with age discrimination in the workplace call us for a free initial telephone assessment.
Below you will find more useful information on age discrimination:
ACAS Early Conciliation
Early conciliation is a free and independent service offered by ACAS which can help you resolve an employment dispute with your employer. ACAS stands for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.
In any event, before lodging a claim with the Tribunal, you must contact ACAS and go through their Early Conciliation process by completing their Notification Form online. Here is the link https://tell.acas.org.uk/find-a-solution-to-your-employment-dispute.
If you do not contact ACAS before lodging your claim with the Employment Tribunal, it will be rejected.
You must contact ACAS on or preferably before the deadline to lodge your Employment Tribunal claims, which is usually three months less one day after the last act you want to complain about. For instance, if you were dismissed on 18 June 2020, you would have to bring a claim no later than 17 September 2020. In certain circumstances it may be possible to rely on a continuing series of acts and the deadline would start from the date of the last act in this series. However, we do recommend that you seek legal advice to ensure you know what are the right time limits are for any claims you may have, as it can be difficult to work out.
Provided you contact ACAS before the deadline, going through the Early Conciliation process extends the time in which you have to file your claim. There are however complicated rules as to how long the time limit is/can be extended, and therefore we do again recommend you get proper legal advice.
Once you have completed the Early Conciliation Notification form, an ACAS officer will contact you and ask for details about the dispute. If you agree, ACAS will contact your employer and give the parties the opportunity to try and resolve the dispute without going to the Tribunal. If either you or your employer does not want to try and resolve the dispute informally, or the dispute cannot be resolved, ACAS will issue an Early Conciliation certificate. You need to keep this safe as you will need its reference number if you decide to lodge a claim with the Tribunal.
One last word, if you submit your own Early Conciliation Notification form, make sure you get the name of your employer correct. Claims have been disallowed because the correct entity for the employer was not filed against – we wouldn’t want that to happen to you.
Click here for the ACAS information on early conciliation: https://www.acas.org.uk/early-conciliation
The CAB website is also excellent, particularly for explaining the quite complicated rules around time limits: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/problems-at-work/using-early-conciliation/
There is a wealth of useful information available online, and lots of free advice to steer you in the right direction.
Useful guidance on their Equality page around Disability Discrimination and other kinds of discrimination. They have a simple question and answer format on the website covering common questions arising and an excellent telephone helpline 08457 47 47 47 which is managed from Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm and Saturday, 9am-1pm.
Rights at work. https://www.acas.org.uk
Public Concern at Work
Public Concern at Work is the whistleblowing charity. Established in 1993, they have led the new approach to whistleblowing that-both at home and abroad – recognises the key role it can play in anticipating and avoiding serious risks that arise in and from the workplace.
Employment/Work Issues: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/
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specialist employment discrimination lawyers
If you are seeking legal guidance regarding employment discrimination issues, get in touch with us today to book a free telephone assessment with our experts.