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HSBC Reference

We've trawled the internet to find articles and tips that will be useful to you both in the interview and after! They're all just common sense really but it doesn't hurt to have a look.

Age Discrimination

The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 These are government regulations relating to age discrimination, including what it is, and what to do if you feel you’ve been the victim of discrimination on the grounds of age. In a nutshell, since the introduction of this law, no company can make a decision on recruitment, pay, promotion, transfers or dismissal based on an individual’s age, regardless of whether they’re young or old. For a start, you will no longer see job ads asking for attributes like ‘young and energetic’ or for candidates with ‘significant experience’.

These coded terms that implicitly ask for candidates from a certain age group are in breach of the regulations. So if you think you’re up to the job, no matter how young and inexperienced you are, you have a right to apply for it and to be fairly considered. Equally, if you’ve already been in the job market for several decades, you have as much right as a school leaver to apply for any job that catches your eye. Bear that in mind when you put your CV together, and aim to concentrate on skills and achievements that will open doors for you. Having a good age mix is good for business In years gone by, it was not uncommon to see certain businesses with very fixed ideas about who could do what at which age. The media and advertising industries, for example, seemed to feel people were over the hill at 40. Conversely, more traditional industries like banking saw a bit of grey hair as a basic requirement for holding a senior position. All that has changed – the only thing that counts is your ability to do the job. Shifting demographic patterns and an ever-ageing population have boosted the value of older employees. A healthy mix of ages has other advantages in the workplace - new attitudes combined with knowledge that can only come from experience contributes to a richer working environment. On a practical level, employers are also coming to value the fact that older staff tend to be easier to retain, since they are probably more settled and less likely to throw their jobs in to go off and see the world. Are you being discriminated against?

Although younger people may experience prejudice when going for senior jobs, in practice most age-based discrimination affects older people. This can be direct discrimination, like barring anyone over a certain age for applying for a particular position, or indirect, like asking all new recruits to pass a rigorous fitness test. You may also come across other forms of discrimination like harassment or victimisation. This can take the form of ageist jokes or snide remarks and can apply to both younger and older employees.

What should you do if you are a victim of discrimination?
The first thing to do is to raise the matter with your employer on an informal basis. If they feel you are justified in your complaints, go ahead and follow the formal grievance procedure that all employers are required to have. If they don’t take the issue seriously, you may decide to take your case to an employment tribunal. This is a reasonably straightforward process, but has certain restrictions. For example, you must have gone through all your employer’s procedures without achieving a satisfactory result before approaching the tribunal. You must also bring your case within three months of the date of the alleged discrimination. Avoid formal disputes if at all possible. There’s no use making enemies for the sake of it. But if you don’t get fair treatment, the Employment Tribunals were set up specifically to help you defend yourself. Don’t be afraid to use them if you need to.