Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006

Understanding the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006: Best practices for implementation

Age discrimination is a critical issue in today's diverse workforce. The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 were introduced to tackle this challenge, ensuring fair treatment across all age groups. In this blog, Dr Richard Dune delves into the significance of these regulations, providing essential insights, definitions, and best practices for effective implementation. By the end, you will understand the importance of compliance and how ComplyPlus™ can support your organisation in achieving regulatory excellence.

Key facts and statistics

The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 came into force on 1st October 2006, making it unlawful to discriminate against employees, job seekers, and trainees based on age. According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK workforce is increasingly ageing, with nearly one-third of employees aged 50 and above by 2024. This demographic shift underscores the need for robust age discrimination policies.

  • Age discrimination claims made up 16% of all discrimination claims in 2020.
  • Employers who fail to comply with age discrimination laws can face unlimited fines and reputational damage.

Key definitions

  • Age discrimination - Treating someone less favourably because of their age.
  • Direct discrimination - When someone is treated less favourably because of their age.
  • Indirect discrimination - When a policy or practice applies to all but disadvantaged people of a particular age group. 
  • Harassment - Unwanted conduct related to age creates a hostile environment for the individual.
  • Victimisation - Mistreating someone because they have made or supported a complaint about age discrimination.

Best practices for implementing the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006

Policy development

Developing a clear, comprehensive age equality policy is the first step. This policy should outline the organisation's commitment to preventing age discrimination, detailing procedures for reporting and addressing complaints. Ensure the policy is communicated effectively to all employees.

Training and awareness

Regular training sessions are vital to educate employees about age discrimination and the importance of equality. This training should be mandatory for all staff, including senior management, to foster an inclusive workplace culture. Courses should cover:

  • Understanding age discrimination and its impacts.
  • Recognising and addressing unconscious biases.
  • Practical steps to ensure age equality in hiring, promotions, and day-to-day operations.

Recruitment practices

Implement fair recruitment practices by:

  • Using age-neutral language in job adverts.
  • Avoiding age-related criteria unless justified by the job requirements.
  • Ensuring diverse interview panels to mitigate bias.

Performance management

Adopt a fair and transparent performance management system that focuses on skills, experience, and achievements rather than age. Regular reviews and constructive feedback should be part of this process to support employees' growth and development.

Flexible working arrangements

Offering flexible working arrangements can help retain older employees and those nearing retirement. This could include part-time roles, job-sharing, or remote working options, ensuring a work-life balance that suits employees' needs.

Retirement planning and support

Provide employees with access to financial advice and phased retirement options to support their retirement planning. This approach ensures a smooth transition and retains valuable skills and experience within the organisation.

Monitoring and reviewing policies

Review and update your age equality policies regularly to ensure they remain effective and compliant with current legislation. Gathering employee feedback and analysing data on age discrimination complaints can help identify areas for improvement.


  • Utilise technology - Implement compliance management software like ComplyPlus™ to streamline policy management, training delivery, and monitoring of compliance efforts.
  • Continuous improvement - Encourage a culture of continuous improvement by regularly seeking feedback and making necessary adjustments to policies and practices.
  • Legal consultation - Seek legal advice periodically to ensure your organisation complies with evolving age discrimination laws and regulations.


The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 are crucial in fostering an inclusive and fair workplace. By understanding the key aspects of these regulations and implementing best practices, organisations can prevent age discrimination, enhance employee satisfaction, and avoid legal repercussions.

For comprehensive support in managing compliance and implementing effective training programmes, explore our ComplyPlus™ software. Designed to simplify legislative compliance, ComplyPlus™ offers the tools and resources your organisation needs to stay ahead. Click here to learn more and ensure your workplace remains inclusive and compliant.

About the author

Dr Richard Dune

With over 20 years of experience, Richard blends a rich background in NHS, the private sector, academia, and research settings. His forte lies in clinical R&D, advancing healthcare tech, workforce development and governance. His leadership ensures regulatory compliance and innovation align seamlessly.

Best Practices for Implementation - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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