Under the Equality Act 2010, direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, victimisation and harassment because of age in the sphere of employment and vocational training is prohibited. Direct discrimination can also arise where a person is discriminated against because they are perceived to be a certain age or age group. Employers may also be responsible for the acts of their agents, as well as the acts of other employees.
The Act protects workers from age discrimination in recruitment, employment terms and conditions, promotions, transfers, dismissals and vocational training. However, the Act provides that direct and indirect discrimination may be justified.
The Coalition government has abolished the default retirement age from 1 October 2011. Where appropriate, the dismissal of older workers should be managed through discussion or formal performance and management procedures.