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HireScores.com Recruitment ForumRecruiters, Employers & Suppliers CentreGeneral employer topics (Moderators: HireScores.com admin, HireScoresMark)UK Firms Risk Age Claims Over Recession Redundancies
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Author Topic: UK Firms Risk Age Claims Over Recession Redundancies  (Read 5023 times)
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« on: July 02, 2009, 12:55:27 PM »

Less than a third of British businesses consider age discrimination to be a major issue in redundancies, and are putting themselves at risk of tribunal claims, according to research from UK law firm Dundas & Wilson.

Employment law experts at D&W surveyed HR professionals from 49 UK organisations at their annual employment law round up seminar, and found that few employers have factored age issues into their redundancy procedures.

D&W employment partner David Walker said: 'A lot of businesses expect to have to cut jobs in a recession, and of course many already have, but I question if HR has fully considered the impact the recessionary labour market will have on age discrimination claims

'Often white, middle-aged men are most affected by redundancies and for the first time may seek to take issue with their former employers by claiming age discrimination was a factor in their dismissal.'

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The research showed that UK business are failing to spot potential trouble spots around age discrimination, with less than a third - 28 percent - of respondents saying they saw redundancy policy as a major age discrimination issue for their organisations.

By contrast, retirement processes were important for 47 percent, staff training issues were seen as significant for 40 per cent, and nearly 38 percent treated recruitment policies seriously under the age discrimination laws.

David Walker said: 'HR is clearly alive to the importance of ensuring employees aren't discriminated against because of their age, but too few are really aware of the link with redundancy.

'On recruitment, training and retirement, businesses are well aware of age discrimination issues - redundancy is one area which is less-well covered, and that is a concern.'

Redundancy also came close to the bottom of the pile among the issues businesses had already tackled following the introduction of the age discrimination laws in 2006.

Almost three-quarters, or 73.5 percent, of organisations had changed their retirement processes to ensure compliance, while 55 per cent said they had redrafted both recruitment practices and equal opportunities policies.

By comparison, less than half (45 percent) had looked at redundancy procedures to take into account the age laws.

David Walker said: 'Redundancy is an area which is less-obviously affected by age discrimination laws than areas like recruitment and retirement, but this is the first recession in which it has been a legal issue for companies.

'Some businesses have realised the potential difficulties this could present and have started looking at what they can do to reduce their risk. However, as trading conditions continue to worsen for many companies, there has to be more than a mere recognition that age discrimination claims could be a factor in how they decide which members of staff should be considered for redundancy.'
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2009, 01:41:54 PM »

I think it's good that we have such robust laws regarding things like age discrimination...or any kind of discrimination for that matter in the workplace.
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2009, 07:45:30 PM »

I used to have a neighbour who went for many jobs but he was almost fifty at the time and recently unemployed. I felt very sorry for him because he felt he was being discriminated against because of his age but of course it's impossible to actually know that.
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2009, 03:13:04 PM »

I'd imagine that age discrimination is hard to prove. I mean even if two candidates attend an interview with exactly the same experience and qualifications and one is 30 and one is 50 IF the 30 year old did get the job the employer would probably just say that they performed better on the day.

This leads me to think that there is probably much discrimination going on in workplaces up and down the country but nobody really knows for sure except the employers.
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2009, 06:43:20 PM »

I think there's much more discrimination going on than is reported. Certainly.
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Bob
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2009, 12:20:08 AM »

I guess that has to be true.
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2009, 02:47:48 PM »

It must be. I know I've had bad situations in my previous couple of jobs that I could have gone to ACAS over but didn't. I know this is a slightly different point to the original one about discrimination but there's no way at all that all instances of people being discriminated against or bullied even get reported. That's a shame.
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2009, 02:43:38 PM »

I agree. People need to stand up for their rights however annoying that might be to a boss of a company.
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2009, 12:09:44 PM »

Good debate this. In my previous couple of jobs I had very "testy" (understatement) bosses of two local rival taxi firms. Taxi companies (or at least the two I worked in) seem to live in a different employment world to the rest of us.
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Bob
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2009, 03:27:05 PM »

Get Up Stand Up springs to mind by Bob Marley.

I don't know if that song was written about South Africa or what but it's appropriate for people trying to get what they are owed.
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Jonathan
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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2009, 02:13:50 PM »

Remember though that a boss is a boss and people should be lucky to have a job in this day and age. They pay the wages after all.
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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2009, 06:29:52 PM »

I agree that everyone who has a job is blessed and me too but there's a line that can't be crossed. When I worked in a taxi office the boss spoke to me frequently like nothing. That's not right. I remember one day I had to call ACAS for advice and they suggested I write them a letter so that if things got worse I could at least prove that I'd tried to tell them how I felt.

It turned out ok in the end (that time) but you should have seen the look on the bosses faces when I gave them my letter.
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« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2009, 12:12:42 PM »

A company has to put itself at number one as it's profit, shareholders and owners are it's most important commodity but it should look after it's workers as well. It must do both.
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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2009, 06:07:21 PM »

Nicely put point. Can it do both at the same time though? Can a company care about it's money and it's people equally? And should those things be equal or should one be more important than an other?
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2009, 02:43:54 PM »

I find this a fascinating and interesting debate. The answer is I don't know.
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