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Being age-aware can help employers avoid age discrimination claims

Age discrimination tribunal claims have been on the increase in recent years. As an employer, how can you make sure you are treating all workers fairly, regardless of their age?

The Tribunal Service report for 2010/2011 showed a dramatic increase of 79% in age discrimination cases since 2008. With the abolition of the Default Retirement Age (DRA) and the threat of further job losses in both the private and public sector, there is a strong possibility that the number of age-related claims could be set to rise even further. A number of high-profile age discrimination cases in the media have also served to highlight the issue and raise public awareness of the law.

With the average award for successful age claims now standing at over £30,000, age discrimination claims can be a costly business if they succeed at tribunal. Age discrimination potentially affects every aspect of workplace relations, from recruitment and retirement policy to decisions around training and promotion, and can affect younger staff as well older employees. While attitudes to age are gradually changing, a new report from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) entitled 'Attitude to Age in Britain' warns that there is still a risk that negative attitudes could leave older people in particular "isolated from opportunities".

Being age-aware in the workplace can help you get the best out of all of your staff. Acas provides training on managing an age-diverse workforce and on managing the retirement process in the wake of the removal of the DRA.

Visit the Acas training and business solutions area for more information.

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