COMMONS

Government and EHRC complacency about age discrimination has to stop

19 October 2018

The Women and Equalities Committee publishes Government response to report on older people and employment.

More than a million over 50s talents are wasted

With the talents of more than a million over 50s being wasted because of age bias and outdated employment practices, there is still much to be done on the issue.
 
The Committee published its report into older people and employment in July 2018.

The report concluded that Government and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) were failing to enforce the law on age discrimination and must be clearer that prejudice, unconscious bias and casual ageism in the workplace are all unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.

Responses

The responses from both organisations are mixed. While the Government does not specifically reject any recommendations, it does not fully accept any, and those actions to which it does commit lack detail and timeframes.

The response from the EHRC rejects the recommendation to develop enforcement action on age bias in recruitment on the basis that it is in the process of setting its strategic priorities and consulting on a draft strategic plan.
 
The Committee has decided that it will follow up on the EHRC’s response as part of its new inquiry into the enforcement of the Equality Act and is likely to hold a separate one-off session with the Government, details of which will be confirmed in due course.

Responses are ‘disappointing’

Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Maria Miller MP, said:

“Without effective intervention from the Government and EHRC, we cannot see how discriminatory practices against older people in employment, that we know are rife, will be tackled. That’s why I find the responses we have received today disappointing as we had hoped they would have worked together to agree specific enforcement actions across both the public and private sectors.

Our Committee will be taking follow up action to make sure we get the change that is desperately needed.”

Further information

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