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Age equality

Legislation outlawing discrimination on grounds of age has been one of the last areas of equality law to be developed.

Age discrimination occurs when people are treated less favourably, denied access to jobs or services, or find themselves marginalised because of their age. Most often this happens to young people, or as people get older.

It is now unlawful to discriminate against people because of age in relation to employment and training, when delivering services, and when carrying out public functions. There are some exceptions which enable service providers to go on providing services targeted at specific age groups, to meet the needs of older and younger people. The law in relation to goods and services does not apply to people under the age of 18 years, enabling services to be provided for children, such as schooling, and youth services.

The default retirement age has been abolished. It is now unlawful to force someone to retire when they reach a particular age, except in a number of specific services. This means that people have more choice about when they retire from work, and helps recognise the importance of the skills and experience which many older people can bring to the workplace.

The Public Sector Equality Duty has also been extended to cover age equality. This means that public bodies, like us, must have regard for the need to advance equality, eradicate unlawful discrimination and harassment, and promote good relations between people of different ages, when carrying out their activities. One way in which this happens is by considering the impact of changes to policies and services on people of different ages, before decisions to go ahead are made.

We work hard to support children and young people to achieve and realise their full potential in adulthood. We also provide a wide range of services, support and benefits which help older people enjoy their later years, stay well and safe, and continue to participate in the life of the communities in which they live.

To find out more visit our adult care and wellbeing pages.

We're currently providing and supporting the provision of a growing number of apprenticeships for young people to help them gain the experience they need to enter the jobs market. We also actively support local forums for older people across Derbyshire, so that the needs, views and opinions of older people are properly taken into account by local service providers.