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Age

Queen Mary is committed to promoting equality of opportunity for everyone, no matter what their age. We all have an age, so discrimination on the grounds of age affects us all.

Young people, as well as older people, face age discrimination - a survey of 1,400 found that over half of under 18s feel they’re not taken seriously at work, and three-quarters of 25 to 34-year-olds consider themselves having been discriminated for being “too young”(CV-Library, 2017).

The Ageist Britain report, by Sunlife, surveyed 4,000 UK adults and analysed thousands of tweets and blogposts in the UK, found that 40% of British people over 50 regularly experience ageism, with one in three commonly experiencing it at work, one in 10 on public transport, and one in seven while shopping.

Age and the Equality Act 2010

It is unlawful to discriminate against someone because of their age unless it can be objectively justified. The Equality Act 2010 protects employees of all ages (including job seekers and trainees) and students from discrimination, harassment and victimisation. However, ageism is deeply engrained in society as a whole and in the workplace. We need to be aware that the higher education workforce has been ageing for several years, with a rising population of staff over 50.

The Equality Act says that you must not be discriminated against because:

  • You are (or are not) a particular age or in a particular age group.
  • Someone thinks you are (or are not) a particular age or age group (this is known as discrimination by perception).
  • You are connected to someone of a particular age or age group (this is known as discrimination by association).

If you need further advice about an issues relating to age, please contact the EDI team. 

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