Thursday, 26 April 2007

Warning over age laws

Shropshire employers must make sure they are complying with new age laws in the workplace, or prepare to defend costly claims.

John Mehtam, Employment Law Specialist at Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Euston Way, Telford, said six months after the new laws had been introduced, some employers were still ignoring them.

“Research has shown that almost two thirds of the people surveyed felt the age laws had made little or no difference to the way people were being recruited.

“And many said they had seen ageist behaviour alive and well in their own workplace since the rules were introduced.

“But this has got to stop – employers must make sure they are complying with the rules or they could face real problems in the future.”

John said it was much simpler and cost effective for employers to recruit sensibly under the new rules, than to defend a discrimination claim at a later date.

“Make sure your advertising avoids phrases such as young professionals, or mature candidates, and really take a close look at the way your recruitment process is structured.

“The evidence shows that introducing new laws is just the start of the process, and it’s the way people interpret them in the longer term that is crucial to their success.

“Don’t just rely on your Human Resources teams to make sure your firm is following the right procedures – make sure you know exactly how your company’s recruitment programme operates.

“If you don’t, it will be you who faces any tribunal that may result, and ultimately you who faces the financial penalty too.”