The delayed ban on age discrimination in the provision of goods and services came into force on 1 October 2012.
Under the ban, age discrimination in the provision of services to over 18s will be prohibited; under 18s are not protected. To supplement the existing general exceptions, a number of exceptions specific to age discrimination are also introduced on 1 October and service providers will still be able to provide different services to different age groups if they can:
objectively justify the different treatment;
establish a need for positive action; or,
establish that one of the general or specific exceptions applies.
In summary, the specific exceptions coming into force are:
Financial Services: financial services providers (e.g. banks and insurance companies) may continue to use age as a factor in the products and prices that they offer (e.g. in assessing risk);
Age-based Concessions and Discounts: service providers may offer concessions, discounts or more favourable terms to particular age groups, provided that the concession does not have the effect of preventing those in other age groups from using the service and is reasonable;
Age Verification Schemes: providers of age-restricted services (e.g. cinemas, retailers selling tobacco or alcohol) may ask all customers who appear to be under a particular age for proof of age and may refuse to serve those who cannot supply proof of age, provided that a notice is displayed;
Holiday Services: holiday providers may advertise and sell package holidays to people in particular age groups provided at least two elements of a package are provided (e.g. travel, accommodation and activities) and it includes an overnight stay;
Associations' Membership and Concessions: associations may offer concessions on membership to particular age groups or those with a particular number of years' prior membership (e.g. discounted membership for over 60s). They may also offer concessions on access to benefits, facilities or services, including allowing them access for a limited time (e.g. a golf club allowing discounted rounds to over 60s at certain times of the day);
Sport: it will be permissible to provide age banded activities to secure safety or fair competition, to comply with national or international competition rules or to increase participation; and
Residential Mobile Homes: may restrict their site licences to those who have reached a particular age
Navigating through the minefield that is the Equality Act 2010 can be difficult. If you'd like advice on how to prevent problems and protect your business from costly discrimination claims, EmployEasily HR Services can help.
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