The Belgian Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities, Unia, welcomes the decision of the Court of the city of Gand (Belgium) to condemn a company for age discrimination following the rejection of the job application from a 59-year-old man on the ground of his age. The company, which put forward the argument that older workers have more difficulties to use some softwares, has been condemned to pay 25,000 euros compensation for damage to the victim of discrimination, and a 1,000 euros fine for any new infringement.
Last year Unia dealt with 80 dossiers for age discrimination, more than the half of which referred to employment issues, in particular for people aged 45-55 (29%) and 55-65 (20%). A trend which is of particular concern in the current context of ageing demography, with a 20% increase of the 45+ group expected in the next 40 years in Belgium.
‘If this growing part of the population experiences a high risk of discrimination on the work place, we are then facing a real social problem’, warns Unia’s director.