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Employee Benefits Blog Insights on Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation

Clash of the Generations – Age Discrimination in the United Kingdom in 2012

Posted in Employment

by Katie L. Clark

In Europe, many employers are currently caught in the middle of a conflict between older and younger employees.  Many older employees want to work longer (whether by choice or necessity), while younger employees feel that an aging workforce is hampering their career progression.  Both feel that that their age is being used against them.  In the United Kingdom, the repeal of default retirement ages in April 2011 has only aggravated the problem.

UK employers may lawfully use age directly or indirectly in decision-making if “justified.”  But where is the line drawn?

Two recent English Supreme Court cases provide some much-needed clarification for employers, particularly with regard to possible justifications for direct age discrimination.

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