Age discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably than another person in a similar situation, because of their age, for example a company refusing to interview an applicant for a position because of their age. Age discrimination may also occur when there is a rule or policy that applies to everyone, but it substantially disadvantages people of a particular age group. This type of discrimination may occur if, as a part of a job application, applicants are required to undergo an eye test even though a high level of vision is not an inherent requirement of the job. Such a test is often less onerous for a younger person as eyesight may be subject to degenerative deterioration.
The Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth) prohibits discrimination in the following areas:
“(a) employment and related matters;
(c) access to premises;
(d) provision of goods, services and facilities;
(e) provision of accommodation;
(f) disposal of land;
(g) administration of Commonwealth laws and programs;
(h) requests for information on which age discrimination might be based”
Pursuant to the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW), age discrimination is also prohibited in the areas of work, education, access to goods and services, accommodation and registered clubs.
The legislation also makes it an offence to advertise conduct that constitutes age discrimination under the Acts, to victimise someone due to their age, to aid and abet another in the commission of discrimination. Liability also extends to principals in the workplace. There are certain exceptions in which discrimination on the basis of age is permitted, for example, in sport, for insurance, credit and superannuation purposes and in accessing certain types of housing.
If you have been aggrieved by age discrimination, we recommend that you seek immediate advice as there is only a narrow timeframe in which legal recourse may be initiated, and any extension of time will need to demonstrate exceptional circumstances that account for the delay.
If you wish to speak with one of our Discrimination Law & Human Rights Law Lawyers, please contact our Sydney CBD Head Office by telephone on (02) 9233 4048 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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