Age refers to a person belonging to a particular age group, which can include people of the same age and people of a particular range of ages.
The Equality Act 2010 replaces the provisions of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006. The Act makes discrimination on the grounds of age in employment and education provision unlawful unless it can be objectively justified. An objective justification is defined as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, which means that different treatment can be justifiable if there is objective evidence to support this decision. For example, this could be a compulsory retirement age. However, it is likely to be unacceptable to exclude applicants who are over 40 years of age from a medical degree course because they may be too old to practice (particularly as people are working to an older age). Similarly, refusing to offer a candidate a student facing job, like a Student Advisor, because he/she may be ‘too old to identify’ with students would likely be unlawful.
The Equality Act made provision for a ban on age discrimination in the provision of services and public functions. This ban came into effect from October 2012. However, there remain some exceptions. These are contained in the Equality Act 2010 (Age Exceptions) Order 2012 and include age-based concessions, age verification, clubs and associations concessions and sports (such as under-21 football tournaments).