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  • Are you agist?!

    As of the 1st October a new law is being passed in England that will illegalise agism. It has been set up to challenge the compulsory retirement age of 65 in the UK, and to help people who are nearing that age find work. It has been largely reported that if you are in your early 60's you can find it almost impossible to secure work because your employer will be thinking "well they are only going to be with us a couple of years, so why bother?". Additionally many people want to work past 65, even if this is only on a part time basis.

    So this law is a good thing. It protects the opportunities to people who are older by prohibiting people from assuming that just because they are older they don't have anything to contribute.

    For the astute of you this is where the alarm bells will be ringing. It also proves that when it comes to crazy laws the British government can still pull out a blinder - a law so perfectly idiotic that you could not honestly think that it could have existence, let alone actually be passed.


    Enjoy:

    The side effects of this law are wide ranging. As you cannot discriminate agism to just the old (as this will be agism in of itself) it has to apply to people of all ages.


    This means:

    An employer may not ask for the age of an applicant unless they have a valid reason to do so.

    You may not use the term "old" or "young" in the workplace, as this is discrimination.

    You may not use terms that imply "old" or "young". For example you cannot refer to someone as "silly" as that implies they are being childish.

    You may not use derogatory terms about age, including about yourself. To say "I'm too old to do that" in the workplace is illegal.

    You may not place a job advert that requires a number of years of experience within the job. By doing this you are discriminating against younger people who may not have had the opportunity to have built up that experience.

    You may not put a picture of a human in a job advert. To do so directly implies that the job is being aimed at people of the age of the people in the advert.

    You may not post a renumeration figure in an advert. To do so could imply that a job is intended for people of a certain age / experience, which could promote self-selection.

    You may not ask for certain qualifications. For example in England the exam you take at 16 changed from O-Levels to GCSE's. I'm 27 and I took GCSE's, but my brother who is 7 years older than me took O-Levels. If we were to list our grades you could work out our respective age difference, which contravines the law that you cannot ask for someone's age.

    You may no longer have graduate schemes for 2 reasons. The first is that asking that soneone is a (recent) graduate implies that people under 21 (or over 27 if recent) are not good candidates for the job, which is agism. The second reason is that to offer better training (such as found in a fast-track scheme) to this age group is agist.

    If you buy a birthday card for a work colleague it may not have an age on it. Additionally it may not make jokes about the old or the young.

    ...and many more that i have forgotten about!

    I'm not making this up - I had to work through a 2 hour self-training computer course about this on friday afternoon. Thus when at 9.32am Monday morning when I greet my boss with a "hello you old bastard" I will be a criminal ;)

  • #2
    Re: Are you agist?!

    Is this a joke? Its illegal to do all of that in england? I have a feeling your justice system is about to be overloaded with agists ;).

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    • #3
      Re: Are you agist?!

      I wish people weren't so obsessed with avoiding offending people. My grandparents are old! My great-grandmother should not be allowed to work! Hey Wulfyn, you have a funny accent! FIGHT THE SYSTEM!

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      • #4
        Re: Are you agist?!

        No ob1one - you are the one with the funny accent :p

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        • #5
          Re: Are you agist?!

          I don't presume that Britain will abolish it's agist regulations regarding alcohol, voting, tobacco...?
          Last edited by Nikolas; 09-30-2006, 01:55 PM.
          A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

          "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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          • #6
            Re: Are you agist?!

            Wouldn't that mean it would be illegal to make car insurance for young drivers really expensive illegal?

            I hate laws like these, they just feel like laws for the sake of laws.
            |TG| Lorian
            Member since 18th February 2006

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            • #7
              Re: Are you agist?!

              This seems very similar to the Maoist laws making it illegal to use sarcasm, laugh, make jokes, and many other forms of expressing emotion. Having to deal with this on a daily basis would drive me insane. The only diference is that this is a workplace measure.

              The saddest part of this is that it simply makes the world a less interesting place.
              War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling that thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety is a miserable creature, who has no chance at being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. -- John Stuart Mill--

              "O xein angellein lakedaimoniois hoti tede keimetha tois keinon rhemasi peithomenoi"- Monument, Thermopylae

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              • #8
                Re: Are you agist?!

                Assuming the voting demographics in the UK are similar to those in the US, this kind of legislation isn't really surprising. The elderly elect the government.

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                • #9
                  Re: Are you agist?!

                  I don't presume that Britain will abolish it's agist regulations regarding alcohol, voting, tobacco...?
                  Well this is exactly it. In fact it's even closer to the mark than that. One of the areas that we were warned about was planning team building days. We have to now chose activities that take into account the abilities of all team members (which we of course do anyway). However in order to take into account everyone's abilities we have to consider the age of that person - but we cannot stereotype them. Crazy!


                  Wouldn't that mean it would be illegal to make car insurance for young drivers really expensive illegal?
                  Insurance companies are exempt because their data is based upon statistics. That's the only way they can get over the sexism related to different rates for genders. Of course this is hypocriticial as to assume that ALL young drivers are riskier based upon lumped data of all other drivers your age is pretty much the definition of stereotyping.


                  This seems very similar to the Maoist laws making it illegal to use sarcasm, laugh, make jokes, and many other forms of expressing emotion. Having to deal with this on a daily basis would drive me insane. The only diference is that this is a workplace measure.
                  Couldn't agree more. Fortunately my workplace is cool enough that we all think these laws are ridiculous - but how do you go about compensating for recruitment changes. My boss will have to advertise a job with no salary, no specifications on experience, and only a scant ability to check academic qualifications.

                  ps - great to see you about again Leo :)


                  Assuming the voting demographics in the UK are similar to those in the US, this kind of legislation isn't really surprising. The elderly elect the government.
                  The bigger problem is the crass touchy feely culture we live in nowadays. I'm all for internal policies that prohibit offensive behaviour to other colleagues, but this sort of think really does not need legislation at all.


                  In other news a mother was given 18 months community service for slapping some teenagers who vandalised her garden, broke her windows, bullied her kids and had parties in her back yard late at night.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Are you agist?!

                    Wow won't it be fun when this law meets Germany's laws on prostitution? Louder! Louder! Eh? Louder!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Are you agist?!

                      I can't say I am familiar with those laws!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Are you agist?!

                        I assume they'll be some sort of exception for jobs which require an age range. Say, in performance casting?

                        Weird. How does this stuff make it through Parliament? The only time I ever hear about these laws is people complaining about them.
                        In game handle: Steel Scion
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                        • #13
                          Re: Are you agist?!

                          Yes mate, certain jobs that require an age range can be screened. For example you have to be at least 25 to be a member of parliament. However when it comes to things where you would assume someone cannot do the job because of their age it would be illegal. A 60 year old could not be rejected from joining the fire service for example - he'd have to fail a medical test to be proven as unable to do the job. Of course that medical would have to be a standard test that is given to anyone. You can't just say "let's give him a medical because he is old".


                          In brighter news today my boss said to me "That's the problem with you young'uns these days". ;)

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                          • #14
                            Re: Are you agist?!

                            Looks like it's gonna cause a lot of problems and conflictions. There are age restricitions on everything. What about the games: "rated for ages 10 and up." Guess they can't do that anymore.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Are you agist?!

                              Originally posted by Acid View Post
                              Looks like it's gonna cause a lot of problems and conflictions. There are age restricitions on everything. What about the games: "rated for ages 10 and up." Guess they can't do that anymore.
                              No, now that would just make too much sense, wouldn't it? I'm sure the government will except itself from these sorts of rules - especially when the rules protect us!
                              A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                              "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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