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Age Discrimination

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to address the issue of age discrimination. [109453]

The Department's equal opportunities policy includes the commitment that there should be no unfair discrimination on the grounds of age.As part of the change and developing Defra programmes we are in the process of reviewing our human resources policies and procedures. Part of that process is to ensure that there are no unjustifiable inequalities on age or any other ground and that our commitment to diversity meets and is fully reflected in the way we fulfil Defra's policy and service delivery roles.As part of our commitment to this policy, staff in all grades below the Senior Civil Service may, subject to their continued efficiency and continued organisational need, choose to remain in service beyond age 60 and up to a maximum of age 65. We have relaxed the age maxima for recruitment along similar lines.