HC Deb 15 December 1998 vol 322 c461W
Mr. Hayes

To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answer to the hon. Member for Grantham and Stamford (Mr. Davies) of 2 December 1998,Official Report, column 879, on age discrimination, what action the Government have taken to tackle age discrimination; and when he plans to introduce legislation on this matter. [64019]

The Prime Minister

The Government stand by their manifesto commitment that in work older people should not be discriminated against because of their age.

On 16 November, my right hon. Friend the Minister for Employment, Welfare to Work and Equal Opportunities launched a consultation on the draft Code of Practice for Age Diversity in Employment. A final version of the code will be published early next year.

The draft Code of Practice builds on the results of the year long consultation on age discrimination set out in the report 'Action on Age' published in August. This pointed to the immediate impact a Code of Practice would have in tackling unfair age discrimination in employment. Proposals for the Code were widely welcomed by employers and individuals alike.

Given this Government's busy legislative programme, the Code of Practice is an effective measure that will challenge employment practices that unfairly discriminate against employees on the grounds of age. The impact of the Code will be evaluated and this will inform future plans for legislation in this area.

The Code of Practice is one of many strands in the Government's approach to helping older people enjoy an active life, participating fully in work and more widely. On 23 November "Building a Better Britain for Older People" was published, setting out the Government's wide strategy for supporting older people.