Anti-Ageism Laws Could Fail Warns Recruitment Chief

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The MD of an award-winning anti-ageism recruitment agency slams 'shameful employment practices' and warns Tony Blair the new law could fail if not properly policed.

The head of a pioneering anti-ageist recruitment agency this week slammed 'shameful employment practices' still operating in some commercial sectors.

Spencer Jacobs, MD at the London and Watford-based Forties People agency, warned Tony Blair that new anti-ageist legislation due to become law this autumn could fail unless tough action is taken to police it.

Said Jacobs: "The new laws are just months away and yet some companies - and even some recruitment agencies - appear blind to the imminent changes.

Our real concern is that the Age Lesgislation Act 2006 may not have the consistent and persistent follow-up support it will need from government to reassure older jobseekers that age discrimination has indeed been consigned to the dustbin of history."

He added: "It's a disgrace that some agencies and some employers are still colluding to effectively deny suitable mature staff the right to interview and fair appraisal of their potential.

The recent Panorama programme 'Must Have Own Teeth' uncovered an alarming scenario in which one agency was even prepared to be racist and exclude coloured people from the list of candidates for a job.That's quite unbelievable in 21st century Britain - and what is equally worrying is the fact that key employers, including the BBC itself, employ pathetically low percentages of people over 55."

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Trevor Lansdown