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Age Discrimination

Employment Legislation and more specifically the Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for an employer to:

  • Discriminate directly by treating a job applicant or employee less favourably than others because of age without objective justification.
  • Discriminate indirectly by applying a provision, criterion or practice such as a policy which affects the workforce that disadvantages job applicants or employees of a particular age group without objective justification.
  • Subject a job applicant or employee to harassment related to age.
  • Victimise a job applicant or employee by treating them to a detriment or terminating their employment because they have made or intend to make an age discrimination complaint.

Direct discrimination

This is where because of age an Employer treats a person less favourably than they treat or would treat others. Age discrimination is different to the other types of discrimination in that an employer will not be found to have discriminated if they can show that the treatment was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

Indirect discrimination

This is where the employer has a provision, criterion or practice, such as a policy that it applies in the workplace, that affects and puts or would put people of a particular age or age group to disadvantage and it is not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.


Age harassment occurs where both:

  • The employer, another employee or a third party engages in unwanted conduct related to age.
  • The conduct has the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of the person being harassed, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person.


Victimisation occurs where an employer or a  person subjects another person to a detriment because that victimised person has done, intends to do, or is suspected of doing or intending to do, any of the following protected acts:

  • Bringing proceedings under the Equality Act 2010.
  • Giving evidence or information in connection with proceedings under the Equality Act.
  • Doing any other thing for the purposes of or in connection with the Equality Act.
  • Alleging that the discriminator or any other person has contravened the Equality Act

If you are concerned that there may have been Age Discrimination or would like to try to avoid Discrimination because of Age, contact one of our Employment Law specialist solicitors.


For further information or to speak to one of our experts, please get in touch