The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006

United Kingdom

The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 were published by Trade and Industry Secretary Alan Johnson today. Alan Johnson said: "Ageism will affect more people, at some stage in their lives, than any other form of discrimination. But until now the law of the land has allowed it to continue. With these new regulations it will become illegal for workers to miss out on recruitment, promotion or training because of prejudice about their age".

The regulations (which will not affect the age at which people can claim their state pension) will:

  • ban age discrimination in terms of recruitment, promotion and training;
  • ban unjustified retirement ages of below 65; and
  • remove the current age limit for unfair dismissal and redundancy rights.

They will also introduce:

  • a right for employees to request working beyond retirement age and a duty on employers to consider that request;
  • a new requirement for employers to give at least six months notice to employees about their intended retirement date so that individuals can plan better for retirement, and be confident that "retirement" is not being used as cover for unfair dismissal.

The regulations will come into force on 1st October 2006. A copy of the final regulations will be available on the Stationery Office website in due course. In the meantime a draft version can be found by clicking here.

The Employment team at CMS Cameron McKenna is analysing the final regulations and will be sending a series of Law-Now alerts on their practical impact shortly.