Age limits are only allowed as an exception, not as a norm


On 13 April 2021 the Italian Supreme Court rendered a decision on the validity of a regulation setting an age limit (60 years) for aircraft pilots “involved in national intelligence operations”. Such decision followed a preliminary ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union that stated that the Italian law was compatible with the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the EU anti-discrimination directive (2000/78/CE), and did not constitute a prohibited form of discrimination based on age. Both Courts found that the age requirement for such kind of workers was genuine, determining and proportionate.

Read more on this case in this article.

ATDAL logo Buiding on its past and present experience in fighting unlawful age discrimination, AGE Italian member organisation ATDAL Over 40 endorses the decisions of the EU and Italian Courts. The present rulings confirm the general principle that age limits in the workplace – including in job adverts, recruitment and selection – must remain an exception, not the norm, and that an employer has an obligation to justify any age requirements for applicants.

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