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We’re back! And here are three items on age discrimination…

by on April 28, 2014

We’re back after our Easter break, having surivived a wedding, a holiday and an earthquake.

What are the stories on age at work that we’ve missed whilst we’ve been away? Here we pick up on three items all on the topic of age discrimination that have caught our eye.

In the UK, as reported here on the This is Money website, Ford is being sued by former staff who allege job loss ageism in a multi million pound age discrimination case believed to be one of the biggest private sector claims in English legal history.  The claim is that older workers were ‘encouraged’ (including by their union) to take early retirement rather than accept redundancy terms, which meant that they receied lower payouts. The claim reinforces the notion that retirement has been used as a euphemism for redundancy in the British labour market.

In Australia, but echoing concerns often raised in the UK, the Age Discrimination Commissioner, Susan Ryan, called for a change in employer attitudes to older workers against the backdrop of a proposal to raise the pension age from 67 to 70.  She is quoted as saying: “We need to stop treating vast sections of our population as though mobility, low commitment and uselessness automatically kick in at a certain age. People can’t work until they are 70 if the system won’t let them.”

In the United States, Hillary Clinton has also called for an end to age discrimination, here against a backdrop of Republicans declaring that she will be ‘too old to run for president in 2016’. This follows the news that her daughter Chelsea Clinton is expecting a baby. As noted in the CNN piece, ‘the influential conservative site Drudge Report has posted a photo of an older looking Hillary Clinton with a banner headline underneath that read “Grandma Hillary,” the subtext was obvious: Hillary Clinton is old’.

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