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Age Discrimination

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2003

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To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what steps the Department is taking to address the issue of age discrimination. [109446]

My Department is committed to creating an inclusive employment environment that will attract and retain staff of all ages. Following the recommendations in the Performance and Innovation Unit Report, "Winning the Generation Game" in 2000, my Department has integrated age into its equal opportunities policies.A wide range of flexible work options to support changing lifestyle needs is available to all staff and the feasibility of extending the current retirement age is being explored. The issues facing older people in the work place were addressed on the mandatory Diversity Awareness Training programme for all staff in 2002, and age thresholds have been removed from the job selection process to ensure that all staff are promoted on merit.My Department began to gather information on staff by age in 2002 and publishes figures annually as part of its Equality and Diversity Annual Report. 29.7 per cent. of staff in my Department are currently over the age of 50 and 18.8 per cent. of staff are under 29.