HC Deb 31 January 2000 vol 343 c409W
Ms Roseanna Cunningham

To ask the Prime Minister what steps he has taken since May 1997 to combat age discrimination; and if he will make a statement. [107145]

The Prime Minister

[holding answer 28 January 2000]The Government undertook a year long consultation on age discrimination in employment. The results were set out in the report "Action on Age" which was published in August 1998. One of the conclusions of the consultation was that a non-statutory Code of Practice could provide a useful tool for tackling age discrimination in employment.

A draft Code of Practice was developed with the help and advice of key partners including the CBI, TUC, Age Concern, IPD, and the Institute of Management. Consultation on the Code took place from November 1998 and the final version was launched in June 1999. The Code covers all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, training, development, redundancy and retirement, and provides detailed guidance and case studies to help employers to tackle age discrimination in their organisations. Over 40,000 copies have been distributed since its launch. It is being backed by a publicity campaign to promote good practice and practical help for employers wanting to adopt the principles set out in the Code. The effectiveness of the Code is being evaluated through a large scale research project which looks in detail at employer policies and practices in recruitment and employment and the impact this has on age diversity in their workforce. The results of the evaluation will be published in 2001.