Through the Equality Act of 2010, it is unlawful to discriminate against employees, job seekers and trainees because of age. This can include both ‘younger’ and ‘older’ reference points against other employees.

There are four key types of age discrimination in the workplace:

  • Direct Discrimination
  • Indirect Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Victimisation

Direct Discrimination

There are three core levels of direct discrimination where treatment of someone can be targeted through:

  • Their factual age
  • Their suspected age
  • The age of an associate/partner/friend

Indirect Discrimination

An example of indirect discrimination can be when a job posting is looking for ‘experience of 10 or more years’. This can directly disadvantage younger candidates who have not have the time to amass that level of experience.
Indirect age discrimination commonly occurs when a company policy, new procedure or workplace practice comes into place that specifically disadvantages a particular age group. In the example above, it would be disadvantaging the younger candidates for the position.


It may seem obvious but age discrimination through harassment is when age is used as a direct attack to violet a person’s dignity. This can also include the creation of a hostile work environment.


The Equality Act of 2010 states that there should be no upper age limit regarding unfair dismissal and redundancy. It requires companies to have in place policies that help to prevent discrimination in:

  • Recruitment
  • Salary
  • Training
  • Promotions
  • Discipline
  • Bullying & Harassment
  • Staff Dismisal

Unfair treatment targeted at an employee through the above categories is classed as victimisation when it comes to age discrimination.

How to improve ageism in the workplace



If you would like to know more about Age Discrimination in the workplace, please contact us to find out more about our Unconscious Bias Training which covers key topics including ageism in the workplace, sexism in the workplace, racism in the workplace and other unconscious traits that staff and employers can unconsciously exhibit across the day to day working environment.

We provide training events for staff and employees alike across the UK and continually work for large scale employers such as BAE to help create a balanced and fair working environment for all.

age discrimination in the workplace

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