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Companies new anti-ageism legislation to impact on driving jobs

1 July 2006

Road safety experts Jaama call on companies to implement duty of care best practice procedures to protect themselves from possible prosecution

Companies have been warned to ensure they have robust occupational driving health and safety policies in places ahead of new legislation to ban ageism in the UK from October 1, 2006.

While such policies should already be ingrained in the culture of all companies, industry figures consistently highlight that many businesses have failed to implement best practice procedures in line with Health and Safety Executive guidance.

Now occupational road safety and fleet software experts Jaama has warned that the ban on ageism at work will have a profound impact on companies, particularly where new recruits are expected to drive.

The Association of Chief Police Officers’ Road Death Investigation Manual acts as a guide to police officers when investigating a fatal or serious injury accident. Among the questions that police will want answering is the physical condition of the driver.

In October 2000, the European Council passed a new Directive requiring governments to introduce equality in employment legislation, including on age discrimination. The UK Government legislation - the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 - will become law on October 1, ahead of the December 2006 deadline.

The new laws will prohibit unjustified age discrimination in employment and vocational training; require employers who set their retirement age below the default age of 65 to justify or change it; introduce a new duty on employers to consider an employee’s request to continue working beyond retirement; require employers to inform employees in writing, and at least six months in advance, of their intended retirement date; remove the upper age limit for unfair dismissal and redundancy rights, giving older workers the same rights to claim unfair dismissal or receive a redundancy payment  as younger workers, unless there is a genuine retirement; and include provisions relating to service related benefits and occupational pensions.