Thursday, June 15, 2006

Commentary: U.K. Employers Warned About Specifically Hiring Older Workers

In light of the survey showing that UK employers may be actively recruiting older workers, some employment experts are cautioning that employers may have the misconception that they will be complying with the age discrimination legislation coming into effect in December if they just boost their quota of older workers.

However, under the age equality regulations, businesses may only target a certain age group if they are under-represented in the workforce, but they must be careful not to exclude other groups. Richard Smith, employment services director at Croner, says "active recruiting of specific ages is not" allowed. Rather, Croner recommends the follwoing for creating an "age positive organization":
  • Audit policies and procedures to ensure they encourage fair and non-discriminatory treatment and communicate them to employees
  • Train managers on any potential issues they face and how to deal with those issues
  • Take prompt action if issues are raised
  • Give clear feedback on inappropriate behaviour
  • Monitor statistics on age profile in your workforce
  • Talk to/survey all employees to identify common areas of concern
  • Role model positive, inclusive attitudes and behaviour
  • Explore behaviours/values at the recruitment stage
  • Create a "life-long learning" culture throughout the organisation
  • Introduce team building exercises/buddying/mentoring schemes
Source: Croner Press Release (June 15, 2006)

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