Memorandum from Transport and General
Workers Union (TGWU)
The T&G takes discrimination against older
and younger workers very seriously and recommends that all our
negotiators include age equality in any equal opportunities policies
and agreements. We have also produced a Model Policy on Age Equality
which includes a statement to the effect that the Union and the
Employer welcomes workers of all ages, as well as specific policy
on recruitment and retention, promotion, training, redundancy
and terms and conditions.
In answer to the specific questions, we reply
In what ways and to what extent are older workers
treated less favourably than younger workers as a result of age?
The T&G are aware of the cases where older
workers have been selected for redundancy purely on the basis
on their age. We are also aware of cases where age limits are
placed on promotion and training opportunities. We have, of course,
represented these workers and try to ensure that we work with
employers to make certain that their policies are not discriminatory
against any groups of workers, including older workers. We have
often found that discrimination against older workers is underpinned
by stereotyping based on prejudice. Unfair assumptions are made,
such as, older workers are harder to manage, do not accept change
easily, are less productive, less healthy or do not fit in with
the image the organisation is trying to portray. These are, of
course, untrue and often it is a case that the opposite is in
fact nearer to the reality.
What benefits do promoting age diversity in the
workplace offer to employers and employees?
Both employers and employees are able to value
older workers for the experience and skills they bring to the
workplace and the organisation as a whole benefits from having
a diverse workforce that represents a diverse society. Employers
who recruit and retain a cross section of workers tend to benefit
from lower staff turnover and a wide range of experience.
In what circumstances (if any) is the use of age
as a criterion for the recruitment and retention of employees
Age should not be used as a criterion for recruitment
and selection, but as far as possible, all efforts, including
advertising, training etc., should emphasise that workers of all
ages will be welcomed. Recruitment and retention should be based
on ability, skills and the needs of the job.
How effective is the Government's Code of Practice
in promoting age diversity in the workplace?
The T&G know of employers who have either
been unaware of the Code of Practice or have not taken it seriously.
In our experience, employers are much more likely to take legislation
seriously than voluntary codes of practice.
In what ways do other Government policies such
as the New Deal help or hinder older workers, especially unemployed
Any efforts to assist unemployed job seekers
into the workplace, particularly those who may be discriminated
against in the labour market, such as older and young workers,
are very welcome.
Is there a case for anti-discrimination legislation
and, if so, what should provisions include?
The T&G support the case for legislation
in this area. We believe that employers will only take effective
action if legislation is introduced, reinforced by trade union
input and that a culture is created in the workplace that welcomes
the diversity of a mixed-age workforce. Provisions should include:
a clear definition of an "older
worker" and "younger worker";
examples of the types of discrimination
that would be unlawful;
provision to take employers to employment
a Code of Practice with examples
of positive action that can be taken;
an enforcement body that can assist
with cases and take action against persistent offenders;
areas of particular concern such
as recruitment and redundancy;
the effects of multi-discrimination,
particularly on women, ethnic minorities and disabled people who
are older and younger workers.
Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU)