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Age discrimination law lauded as significant step

15th May 2006

An employment law expert believes that forthcoming legislation banning workplace ageism is a huge step forward in the country's anti-discrimination movement.

Martin Edwards, head of employment law at Mace & Jones, was speaking ahead of forthcoming new employment legislation that will outlaw age discrimination.

He told BBC Radio Five Live's 'Stephen Nolan' show that the October move is "possibly the biggest change in discrimination law for 30 years".

He added that he believes employers will act on the changes due to the penalties imposed for failure to comply.

"In time you will have compensation laws because there is unlimited compensation for age discrimination that this new law will really make an impact if employers don’t take notice," he said.

He added that from October employees will be able to make complaints against harassment or victimisation on account of age even when it is unintentional on behalf of the employer.

A recent report from HSBC claims that some 72 per cent of people want to see an end to mandatory retirement ages.