Ban on age discrimination extended

New provisions set out in the Equality Act 2010, which extends the ban on age discrimination, came into force on 1 October and could impact some service providers, such as healthcare providers.

According to the Equality Human Rights Commission, the new ban will mean, in most cases, these service providers will not be able to operate lower or upper age limits.

However, the whole of the financial services sector has been exempt from the ban. For example, insurance providers will be able to use age when assessing risk, but the government has stated that the use of age must be based on relevant information, which is from a source on which it is reasonable to rely.

Audrey Williams, head of discrimination law at Eversheds, said: “The new law will involve challenges for service providers. Some policies and practices will have to be adapted, and services redesigned.

“There are some exemptions built into the legislation, particularly for financial services where insurance products often reflect certain increased risks, statistics have shown, tend to be associated with age.”