In a statement published last December, BAGSO, the Federal Association of Older People’s Organisations in Germany, calls on the government to close current gaps in the protection against age discrimination.
While some political parties are planning a reform of the General Equal Treatment Act that entered into force in Germany in 2006, BAGSO shed light on major shortcomings in the regulation.
The legal protection against discrimination does not apply in many cases, because of the limitation of the regulation to so-called mass transactions. BAGSO asks for lifting that restriction, which leads, for example, to the discrimination being prohibited when renting out hotel rooms, but not when renting a flat.
In the insurance sector, BAGSO sees the calculation of rates according to age groups as discriminatory and argues for the use of more meaningful individual risk criteria (as for example, in the case of motor vehicle insurance).
BAGSO also sounds the alarm in the areas of automated decision-making processes (“algorithms”), where a particularly high risk of age discrimination can affect not only old but also young people. They are used, for example, by banks to check whether loans are granted and at what conditions. Here, also, BAGSO calls for a legal regulation to protect against discrimination.
In its statement, the BAGSO also addresses the issue of digitalisation and the structural disadvantage which people who do not have access to the internet. The organisation demands that an obligation to provide either support services or alternative means of access or support be included in the General Equal Treatment Act.
Read BAGSO statement (in German)