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ACAS WARNS THE TIME'S UP FOR AGE

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The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service warned that time is running out for organisations to get to grip...
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service warned that time is running out for organisations to get to grips with the new age discrimination rules and what they will mean in practice. Acas is holding a fringe meeting at the TUC conference where key speakers from the employment world will debate the issues surrounding the new rules that come into effect on 1 October.

Speaking at the TUC conference today Acas chair Rita Donaghy said:

'Age discrimination can affect employees of any age, not just the young and old and with less than a month to go it is vital that employees understand what this means for them.

'Employment should be based on talent and skills, regardless of age, so that businesses can get the best people for the job. Acas has produced guidance to help individuals know how the new rules work in practice. With 23% of firms currently specifying maximum recruitment ages and 13% using age to fix a starting salary, organisations need to be aware of the changes they need to make so that they don't discriminate and miss out on valuable skills.'

The new rules, which make it illegal to discriminate against anyone in the workplace based on their age, affect every area of employment from recruitment to retirement.

Acas has over 30 years' expertise in good employment practice. For advice, information and training, employers and employees can visit www.acas.org.uk

The fringe meeting will discuss a number of issues relating to age discrimination including:

* What does the new legislation mean in practice

* What employers and trade unions are doing to prepare for it

* What help is available to trade unionists and others to understand and come to terms with the new legislation

The speakers include:

Sarah Veale Head, Equality and Employment Rights Department TUC

Sam Mercer Employers Forum on Age

Stephen Williams Head of Equality Services Acas

Notes

1 The fringe meeting will be held in Meeting Room 7, Brighton Conference Centre, at 12.45pm on Monday 11 September. Key people in UK employment relations will debate age discrimination and the workplace - what it means in practice, what are employers and trade unions doing to prepare for it and what help is available?

2 Copies of the Acas guidance can be downloaded free of charge from the Acas website (www.acas.org.uk) or from the publications orderline on 08702 42 90 90. There are two guidance publications:

a. for employers: Age and the workplace: Putting the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 into practice (EEL03); and

b. for individuals: Age and the workplace (AL10).

3 The figures quoted in this press notice are from the Age Partnership Group report Managing an ageing workforce in business services - A report for employers available at www.agepositive.gov.uk

4 Acas' aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides information, advice, training and a range of services working with employers and employees to prevent or resolveproblems and improve performance. It is an independent statutory body governed by a council consisting of the Acas chair and employer, trade union and independent members.

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