UK - European Commission age discrimination measures could leave schemes open to claims - despite government assurances to the contrary.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner David Pollard told delegates EU members will be required to enact legislation to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of age by December 2, 2006.
The government is due to consult on draft legislation by the end of June, which will come into force on October 1, 2006. But despite the government’s assurances that the directive will not have an impact on the operation of UK-based schemes, Pollard pointed out several cases where they could be vulnerable to claims.
Unlike measures found in other countries – such as those enforced in the US – the EC directive will prohibit age discrimination against older and younger workers.
He said this meant that unless schemes could justify their reasons for doing so, making workers wait for membership might be a form of indirect discrimination, as it was more likely to affect younger staff.
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