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Age Discrimination and Age Diversity Management within the Vulnerable Age Groups

Ajmal Hussain    University of Birmingham, UK    

Karen West    University of Birmingham, UK    



Age discrimination legislation is coming into force across EU member states, but the context is now very different to when this legislation was first conceived prior to the economic crisis of 2008. Older workers and younger workers are both vulnerable, but it is far from clear that age discrimination legislation offers them any protection. In this chapter we explore what is meant by age discrimination and what forms it takes, from the perspective of older and young workers as well as various social dialogue agents, experts and policy makers in this area. The paper finds that older workers are still finding themselves frozen out of employment once they become unemployed and younger workers are facing, in many cases, impossibly high barriers to entry. For vulnerable workers in both age groups, there is a sense in which they are deemed to be failing to match up to the middle-aged ideal-typical worker. The authors suggest that this is perhaps a new basis for solidarity between these vulnerable age groups; in stark contrast to the reductionist view of ‘intergenerational conflict’.

Copyright: © 2015 Ajmal Hussain, Karen West. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.