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Youth employment schemes: are they legal?

by on December 3, 2012

An interesting question posed on Mumsnet last week (link here) asked whether it is legal for jobs to be offered on schemes that are only open to applicants aged between 18-24. The writer says as someone who is 25 and with few jobs around, they find it very frustrating to see jobs which they could do but can’t apply for due to their age.

One of the responses referred to this article in The Telegraph from earlier this year. In it, a number of employment lawyers suggest that those who are 25 and over could sue on the grounds of age discrimination in respect of schemes which restrict eligibility in this way.  However, even though this may be a case of prime facie age discrimination does not mean that it cannot be capable of objective justification. One argument could be that such schemes are justified because they address what is seen as a very serious issue of youth unemployment.

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