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Hospitality will gain from law on age discrimination

22 July 2005

New laws to outlaw age discrimination will have a positive effect on the hospitality sector and help alleviate staff shortages, according to industry experts.

The new measures plan to ban discrimination in terms of recruitment, promotion and training, and prevent employers from forcing employees to retire before 65.

It will also remove the current upper age limit of 65 for unfair dismissal and redundancy.

The policy is at consultation stage until 17 October before becoming an EU Directive on 1 October 2006.

Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said the new laws should be beneficial.

"The industry is short of staff and if someone can still do the job, then their employer will be open to that. It's a law which will have a relatively limited effect, as we want to keep folk around for as long as they are able to work anyway.

"Older people generally have the social skills that younger people may still have to develop, so they are good employees."

Petra Cook, a spokesperson for the Age Partnership Group, which advises employers on the benefits of an age diverse workforce, agreed.

"The hospitality sector has all to gain and nothing to lose in embracing the new laws. Employing mixed-age teams can provide useful day-to-day training for the workforce by enabling mature workers to share their valued experience, and younger workers new skills and ideas."

For more information about the new legislation see www.agepositive.gov.uk/agepartnershipgroup

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