Age Discrimination Legislation in the U.K.: A Comparative and Gerontological Analysis
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The three fold purpose of this study is to (1) review the incipient age discrimination legislation in the U.K., (2) offer comparisons with the U.S., Australia, and Canada and (3) examine the new legislation in relation to relevant gerontological theory and research. Reviewed are Britain’s Employment Equality Age Regulations, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of the U.S., the Age Discrimination Act of 2004 in Australia, and Canadian Human Rights Act of 1985. A comparison of the new legislation on age discrimination in the U.K. with existing legislation of this type in the U.S., Canada, and Australia reveals that the British law appears to be weaker on many facets relative to those in the other countries. By permitting more exceptions to the law than are allowed under other types of civil rights statutes, restricting applicability of the law to the workplace, and maintaining compulsory retirement, the power of the law may be circumscribed. Gerontological theory and research do not, by and large, support these choices comprising the new British law.
KeywordsAge discrimination Employment Australia Canada U.K. U.S.
The author is grateful for the support of the Rhode Island College Faculty Fund and for the sabbatical leave granted by Rhode Island College to carry out this research. She is also appreciative of King’s College London, Institute of Gerontology, where she was able to work on this paper while a visiting scholar in 2006.
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