The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for employers to take age into account when recruiting, unless they can show objective justification for their actions. The duty not to discriminate on grounds of age applies to the design and wording of job advertisements and to the criteria specified in a person specification.

What the Law Requires

Since 1 October 2006, age discrimination legislation has made it unlawful for employers to discriminate on grounds of age in the arrangements they make for the purpose of determining to whom they offer employment. “Arrangements” in this context include any criteria for appointment specified in a job advertisement or person specification.

Employers are, however, permitted to seek to justify recruitment criteria that are age discriminatory if they can show that the use of a particular criterion in the recruitment process is appropriate and necessary in relation to the achievement of a legitimate business aim.

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