Extending Working Life for Older Workers

Age Discrimination Law, Policy and Practice - New Book Release


Demographic ageing is a potential challenge and opportunity for countries across the OECD. While age discrimination laws are seen as having broad potential to address
the ‘ageing challenge’ and achieve instrumental and intrinsic objectives in the context of employment, it is unclear what impact they are having in practice.

Focusing on the UK, this book addresses two overarching questions in the employment field:

  • How are age discrimination laws operating in practice?
  • How (if at all) could age discrimination laws be improved?

A reflexive law theoretical standpoint is employed to investigate
these issues, applying a mixed methods research design that engages qualitative, quantitative, doctrinal and comparative elements.

The book demonstrates the substantial limitations of the Equality Act 2010 (UK) for achieving instrumental and intrinsic objectives. Drawing on qualitative expert interviews, statistical analysis and organisational case studies, it illustrates the failure of age discrimination laws to achieve attitudinal change in the UK, and reveals the limited prevalence of proactive measures to support older workers.

Integrating doctrinal analysis, comparative analysis of Finnish law, and the Delphi method, it proposes targeted legal and policy changes to address demographic change, and an agenda for reform that may increase the impact of age discrimination laws, and enable them to respond effectively to demographic ageing.

This book will be of particular interest to scholars researching ageing and age-based discrimination, and those interested in age in the workplace. It will also be of interest to government, law reform bodies and non-governmental organisations, and all those with an interest in the practical impact of discrimination law and legal regulation more broadly.


[Source: Dr Alysia Blackham, Melbourne Law School]