- Policy Statement
- Age Discrimination
- Objective Justification
- Age Equality Procedure & Guidelines
- Recruitment & Selection of Staff
Lancaster University is committed to a comprehensive policy of equal opportunities for all members of the University community. The University aims to ensure that individuals are recruited, selected, assessed, promoted and treated fairly on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities. The University recognises that an effective equal opportunities policy contributes to its long term success and competitiveness and is committed to a programme of action to implement the policy.
The Age Equality policy aims to ensure that no job applicant, potential or existing member of staff in any employment designation, or potential or existing student receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of age or on any other grounds not relevant to good employment and learning practice.
A copy of this policy will be made available to all members of staff. The University is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and diversity, and a breach of this policy may lead to disciplinary proceedings.
The policy will be regularly reviewed and updated as appropriate. However it is not intended to be contractual in nature and does not form part of employees' terms and conditions of employment.
The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 make it unlawful to discriminate against workers, employees, job seekers and trainees because of their age. The regulations also apply to the relationship between a student and the University. Specifically with regard to staff the regulations cover recruitment, terms and conditions, promotions, transfers, dismissals and training.
The Regulations make it unlawful on the grounds of age to:
- Discriminate directly against anyone – that is to treat them less favourably than others because of their age – unless objectively justified.
- Discriminate indirectly against anyone - that is to apply a certain criterion, provision or practice which disadvantages people of a particular age unless it can be objectively justified.
- Subject anyone to harassment. Harassment occurs where one person engages in unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating another's dignity or of creating and intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for another person. Reference should be made to the University's policy on harassment.
- Victimise someone because they have made or intend to make a complaint or allegation or have given or intend to give evidence in relation to a complaint of discrimination on grounds of age.
- Discriminate against someone, in certain circumstances, after the working relationship has ended.
The Regulations specify that treating people differently because of age is permissible if there is an objective justification or a genuine occupational requirement.
Both direct and indirect discrimination will be justified if it is "a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim".
- The action contributes to a legitimate aim; and
- There is no reasonable alternative course of action; and
- The discriminatory effect should be significantly outweighed by the importance and benefits of the legitimate aim.
Legitimate aims might include:
- Economic factors such as business need and efficiency
- The health, welfare and safety of the individual (including protection of young people and older workers)
- The particular training requirements of the job
Objective justification usually will only be relied on by the University after discussion with members of the HR team or, in the case of student matters, with the Equal Opportunities Co-ordinator.
In addition, the Regulations specify certain exceptions relating to pay and employment benefits based on length of service, enhanced redundancy terms, occupational pension schemes and the national minimum wage.
The University is committed to the Equal Opportunities Code of Practice on Employment that specifies the rights and responsibilities of the University and its staff with regard to recruitment, selection, promotion, training and development, health, retention, flexible work arrangements and leave for all members of the University's community. The University makes equivalent commitments to students in its Students Equal Opportunities Policy, Guidelines for Implementation.
In addition to the Equal Opportunities Code of Practice in employment, the procedures and guidelines detailed below are designed specifically to address potential issues concerning age discrimination.
- Application Forms and CVs – All applicants will be asked to remove age and date of birth information from application forms and CVs. A separate monitoring form will be issued to applicants and retained by HR for monitoring purposes.
- Job Descriptions and Person Specifications - Neither job descriptions nor person specifications will contain any information relating to age or length of experience requirements unless (in exceptional circumstances only) this can be justified on an objective basis or is a genuine occupational requirement. Instead specifications will include relevant information about the extent of knowledge and skill levels, specific aptitudes and educational requirements.
- Job Advertisements - No job advertisements will contain references to age or length of experience. Language and images that might imply an age preference will also be avoided. Care will be taken to advertise in publications or websites that are aimed at a diverse age profile, unless (in exceptional circumstances only) this can be justified on an objective basis or is a genuine occupational requirement.
- Interviewing and Shortlisting- All staff involved in interviewing and short listing will be provided with guidance about their responsibilities not to discriminate on the grounds of age and use the requirements of the job specification to judge applicants.
The age at which unreduced pension benefits can be accessed is the 65th birthday.
Guidance for managers on conducting discussions about retirement can be found here
Review Date Oct 2014