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Acas warns - act now to meet age discrimination challenge

Thursday 27 April 2006

Today Acas, Britain's leading employment relations organisation, launched new guidance to help employers and individuals understand how imminent age discrimination legislation will affect them. It comes with a stark warning - employers need to act now to beat the deadline - added 27 April 2006


Speaking at an age discrimination conference in London, Acas Chair Rita Donaghy said:

"A lot of organisations are under the impression that the regulations will not affect them - this simply is not true. Age discrimination can affect employees of any age, not just the young and old.

The legislation comes into effect in October and the frightening fact is that recent research shows around 80 per cent of UK organisations are not training or informing their staff about it."

Acas has over 30 years' expertise in good employment practice. Its new pdf icon Age and the workplace: a guide for employers and employees [336kb]  is available free online or can be ordered from the publications orderline on 08702 42 90 90. If employers need further help, they can register online for one of Acas' courses, which are available throughout Britain.

The employer guidance covers the key issues, including training, equal opportunities, recruitment, promotion, performance appraisals, sickness pay, conditions, benefits, redundancy, pensions and retirement. It will help employers to recognise that being age-positive is a business advantage, not just a legal requirement.

Ms Donaghy concluded: "This is an excellent opportunity for employers to go beyond compliance and increase their productivity. Acas' good-practice training and guidance will help bosses to recruit, develop and retain the very best available talent, regardless of age, and eliminate some very outdated prejudices."

Notes to editors

1. The figures quoted in this press notice are from the BERR/DWP Survey of employers' practices and preferences relating to age research report (series number 49), which can obtained from the BERR website (

2. Acas' aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides information, advice, training and a range of services working with employers and employees to prevent or resolve problems and improve performance. It is an independent statutory body governed by a Council consisting of the Acas Chair and employer, trade union and independent members.

3. Acas guidance can be downloaded free of charge from the Acas website ( pdf icon Age and the workplace: a guide for employers and employees [336kb] .

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