Renfrewshire Council

Age equality

Unlawful age discrimination happens when someone is treated unfavourably because of their age, without justification, or is harassed or victimised because of their age.

Age discrimination law currently applies if, in employment, vocational training, further education or higher education, you have been treated less favourably on the basis of your age, without justification. This may be because you are considered too young or too old.

In certain circumstances, age discrimination may be lawful, but there must be an 'objective justification' in every case. An objective justification allows an employer to discriminate both directly and indirectly on the basis of age. They must, however, show that this discrimination is 'proportionate' and contributes to a 'legitimate' aim.

In some circumstances, it may be lawful for an employer to treat people differently if there is a 'genuine occupational requirement' for a job holder to be of a particular age. For example, a younger actress would be required to play the role of a female teenager in a film.