Macintosh HD:Users:shariconnealy:Desktop:EU age discrimination.docEUROPEAN UNION’S AGE DIRECTIVE: IMPLEMENTATION IN UNITED KINGDOMBy: Robert B. Fitzpatrick
In 2000, the European Union issued its employment directive on equal treatment.CouncilDirective 2000/78/EC,OJ 2000 (L 303/16). The directive requires all member states tointroduce age discrimination laws implementing the directive by December 2006.
at 21.Untilnow there has been no legislation dealing with age discrimination in Great Britain.
On October 1, 2006, the Employment Equality (Age) regulations come into force and effect in Great Britain.(Available on the internet at: http://www.dti.gov.uk/er/equality/draftregulation_2006.pdf).
Theregulations will apply in Great Britain, Scotland, and Wales, but not in Northern Ireland.Space does not permit a description of all the key provisions of these new agediscrimination regulations. Accordingly, this paper will address some of the more interesting provisions.1.
No Age LimitsThe regulations prohibit age discrimination against everyone regardless of his or her age. Thus, unlike the United States’ federal Age Discrimination in Employment Actwhich is limited to discrimination against individuals over the age of forty, (29 U.S.C. §630 (2000); See also
Gen. Dynamics Land Sys., Inc. v. Cline
, 540 U.S. 581 (2004)(holding that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. 621, prohibits discriminatory preference of the young over the old, but does not prohibitdiscriminatory preference of the old over the young), the U.K. age regulations prohibitdiscrimination against those under and over forty.2.
Genuine Occupational Requirement ExceptionThe regulations provide that in very limited circumstances age may be regarded asa genuine occupational requirement (“GOR”). The only circumstances that are generallyagreed to satisfy the GOR exception would be an actor playing a young character in thetheater. For comparative purposes, see Section 623 of the Age Discrimination inEmployment Act of 1967 (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. § 623(f)(1);
Western Air Lines v. Criswell
Robert B. Fitzpatrick is the principal in the law firm of Robert B. Fitzpatrick, PLLC where he represents clients inemployment law and employee benefits matters. Mr. Fitzpatrick has concentrated his practice in employment lawdisputes for more than thirty-five years and has been described by the National Law Journal as being among the topemployment lawyers in the country. He serves on numerous bar association committees related to employment law.In addition to an active employment practice, he serves as a mediator of employment disputes as well as testifying asan expert witness in employment cases. A nationally known lecturer, Mr. Fitzpatrick chairs a number of ALI-ABAemployment law courses.
In contrast, such legislation has existed in Ireland since 1998 (See Employment Equality Act, 1998,); the Finnishand Portuguese Constitutions protected employees from age discrimination even prior to the 2000 directive (TheConstitution of Finland (731/1999); Port. Const. Art. 13); Luxemburg has drafted age discrimination laws; andBelgium, Czech Republic, and Germany have some age discrimination laws in force.
See also Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003/1660) and Employment Equality(Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003/1661).