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As part of our commitment to continually improve our service and to help our clients meet their legal obligations, we continue to update the Legal Registers on our website and provide free quarterly legal compliance updates to anyone who subscribes. The purpose of these updates is to ensure you stay up to date with any changes in your legal compliance obligations, our updates can also be kept and can be used as evidence that your business is staying up to date with any changes in the legislation, this can be very helpful at audit time.
The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 are a set of regulations that prohibit age discrimination in employment and vocational training in Northern Ireland. The purpose of these regulations is to promote equality of opportunity and eliminate unfair discrimination on the grounds of age.
Under these regulations, employers are required to ensure that their recruitment, selection, and promotion processes are free from age discrimination. They must also provide equal access to training and development opportunities for all employees, regardless of age.
The regulations also prohibit harassment or victimization based on age, and require employers to make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities related to age.
The regulations apply to all employers and employees in Northern Ireland, regardless of the size of the business or the nature of the work being carried out. They apply to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, terms and conditions of employment, training, and promotion.
It is important for employers to be aware of their obligations under these regulations and to ensure that they have policies and procedures in place to prevent age discrimination in the workplace. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in legal action and financial penalties.
Under The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006, employers are required to provide evidence that they are complying with the regulations and that they are not engaging in age discrimination in any aspect of employment.
The evidence required may include documentation such as policies and procedures related to recruitment, selection, and promotion, as well as records of employee training and development opportunities offered to employees of all ages. Employers may also need to provide evidence that they have made reasonable adjustments for employees with age-related disabilities.
In addition, employers must keep accurate records of any complaints of age discrimination or harassment, as well as any disciplinary actions taken in response to such complaints. These records must be kept for a minimum of six years.
Employers must be prepared to provide evidence of their compliance with the regulations upon request. Failure to provide adequate evidence can result in legal action and financial penalties.
It is important for employers to ensure that they have robust policies and procedures in place to prevent age discrimination in the workplace, and that they maintain accurate and up-to-date records to demonstrate their compliance with the regulations.
Under The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006, there are some limited exemptions to the prohibition of age discrimination in employment. These exemptions include:
1. Age-based retirement: Employers may still have mandatory retirement ages in place, but these must be objectively justified and proportionate. Employers must be able to show that the retirement age is necessary for the business to operate effectively and that it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
2. National security: Employers in the armed forces or security services may impose age limits for certain roles, where the age limit is necessary for national security reasons.
3. Insurance: Employers in the insurance industry may use age as a factor in calculating premiums or determining eligibility for certain products, where this is based on actuarial data and is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
It is important to note that these exemptions are limited, and employers must be able to provide evidence that they are objectively justified in using them. The burden of proof rests with the employer to demonstrate that any age discrimination is justified and proportionate.
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Including our quarterly legal compliance updates that are a great resource for evidence for your ISO audits.