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Age Discrimination

Volume 451: debated on Monday 30 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if his Department will (a) carry out an age audit of its staff to establish an age profile of its work force, (b) negotiate an age management policy with trade unions and employees to eliminate age discrimination and retain older workers, (c) identify and support training needs and offer older staff flexible working to downshift towards retirement and (d) extend to over-fifties the right to request to work flexibly and the right to training with paid time off; and if he will make a statement. (96497)

DFID regularly monitors the age profile of its workforce as part of our wider approach to diversity monitoring. DFID produces an Annual Diversity Report. This looks at age data for recruitment, promotions, staff satisfaction and staff leaving DFID.

The Department has reviewed its policies to ensure we comply with the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations introduced on 1 October 2006 and promote good practice on age. The trade union side and the chair of the General Advisory Group on Diversity were consulted.

DFID applies the same training needs assessment procedures to all staff, irrespective of age. All DFID staff have the right to request to work flexibly and the right to training with paid time off.

Older staff can choose to either work reduced hours or downgrade as part of their preparations for retirement. DFID’s procedure for considering requests to work beyond our default retirement age of 65 includes the option of agreeing flexible working options.