HC Deb 24 June 1999 vol 333 c438W
Dr. Cable

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment by what means he plans to monitor the effectiveness of the recently published code of practice for age diversity in employment. [87855]

Mr. Andrew Smith

We plan to evaluate fully the effectiveness of the Code of Practice for Age Diversity. The evaluation will look in detail at employer policies and practices in recruitment and employment and the impact this has on age diversity in their workforce. After a competitive tendering exercise, we have commissioned an independent organisation, NOP, to carry out a large scale research project to help evaluate the effectiveness of the Code.

An employer survey will involve telephone interviews with a random sample of companies employing 10 or more people. The sample will provide a good coverage of different industrial sectors, regions and size of employers. There will also be in-depth case studies in order to explore practices and attitudes towards age discrimination in employment in more detail and to discuss the issues with managers and workers at the establishment.

In addition, a random sample of older people will be interviewed on their current situation and their employment experiences and on whether they have experienced any employment discrimination on grounds of age.

In order to provide a baseline against which to measure change, an initial survey or employers and individuals has been carried out prior to the publication of the Code. Two further surveys will be carried out, towards the end of this year and in late Autumn 2000 to measure the impact of the Code. The evaluation will be completed and findings published early in 2001.

We will also be using the range of key labour market indicators that we set out in Annex E of Action on Age to monitor changes and trends in the labour market activity of older workers. These will be published annually in June/July.