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Age Discrimination

Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and pensions what plans he has to introduce legislation to tackle age discrimination. [117300]

We have made a commitment to introduce legislation to tackle age discrimination in the workplace by 2006. Consultation on this will be taken forward by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.In advance of this we have launched our Age Positive campaign to encourage employers to employ workers of all ages. The campaign is raising employers' awareness of the business benefits that older workers can bring, as well as the benefits to older people of staying in the workforce.The success of our New Deal 50 plus programme is also contributing to our wider campaign to tackle age discrimination. By the end of March this year over 98,000 people had moved into work with the help of New Deal 50 plus.Since 1997 the employment rate of people between 50 and state pension age has risen from 65 per cent. in 1997 to 68 per cent. in 2002.