The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination against scheme seekers because of their age. In particular, it prohibits the application of a criterion, provision or practice which disadvantages people of a particular age, unless the particular criterion, provision or practice can be objectively justified.
If you are seeking to employ a graduate, this could be perceived as an intention to employ someone in their twenties or thirties. At future-talent.com we understand that when seeking to employ a graduate, recruiters who post schemes to our site, are seeking individuals with particular qualifications, experience and skills, not individuals of a particular age. However, this may not always be clear in your scheme posting.
We set out below some tips for posting schemes in an anti-ageist way:
- When considering your vacancy, be clear about the qualifications, experience and skills that are necessary to perform the role, and why those qualifications, experience and skills are necessary. A need may arise for you to justify why you are seeking a graduate particularly. Consider creating a scheme description and person specification to assist you in understanding and expressing why you are seeking particular qualifications, experience and skills.
- Write your scheme posting reflecting the requirements of your scheme description or person specification, i.e. focussing on the skills and abilities required for the vacancy.
- Avoid using language that might imply that you would prefer someone of a certain age, such as "mature", "young" or "new/recent graduate".
- Avoid asking for "X years' experience" in your scheme postings. This may rule out younger people who have the skills required but have not had the opportunity to demonstrate them over an extended period of time. It could also rule out older people if your requirement for experience is low. Furthermore, duration of experience does not necessarily reflect enhanced skills.
Further information on the effect of the Equality Act 2010 is available from ACAS, at www.acas.org.uk. Information on your specific obligations under any legislation should be obtained from your legal advisors.
future-talent.com registers scheme seekers of any age.