New Acas guidance on Age Discrimination

07 February 2019

Acas has published new age discrimination guidance to help prevent age discrimination, also commonly called ageism, in the workplace.

The age gap between staff can now be 50 years or more. Under the Equality Act 2010, age is one of the nine special areas of lifeguarded as what is known as protected characteristics. The other eight areas are disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

Age discrimination at work - treating someone unfairly because of age - is against the law apart from in very limited circumstances. Features of the protected characteristic of age under the Equality Act include:

  • Protection against unfair treatment because of someone's actual age, or the age they are thought to be, or the age of someone they are associated with
  • Protection against harassment because of age, and
  • Different treatment because of age being allowed in very limited circumstances

The new age discrimination guidance includes:

  • Overview of age discrimination
  • Key areas where age discrimination may happen
  • Risks of stereotyping people because of age
  • Risks of using ageist language
  • When different treatment because of age may be allowed
  • Making a claim for age discrimination
  • Protected characteristics video
  • Ten obligations for employers (factsheet)
  • Top ten myths (factsheet)