This Discussion Paper by Equinet takes stock of the situation of age discrimination in European countries, paying particular attention to legal issues and the areas of employment, provision of good and services, housing and health & family.
It includes 5 chapters:
The first chapter provides a general overview of the EU legal framework, international case law and work of national equality bodies, and identified several issues that are common across EU countries.
The next chapters tackles more specifically the issue of age discrimination in:
- employment, including the maximum age limits in recruitment, retirement age and other types of cases, e.g. age-related dismissal, discrimination and harassment at the workplace
- the provision of goods and services, with a focus on the banking and insurance sectors,
- housing, looking at the specific challenges faced by older people and younger people,
- in health care and family rights situations.
The paper also features cases national case laws for each of those areas.
Equinet paper showcases the widespread dimension of age discrimination, which is likely to affect people at all stages and spheres of their lives. This fact is supported by a general tendency to consider age discrimination as a ‘less severe’ form of discrimination and by the lack of relevant legislative provisions at EU level. The paper also finds that stereotypes and perceptions about certain age groups are deeply ingrained in our societies and, as such, hard to overcome. Those stereotypes are even present in courts ‘that are often reluctant to require an individualised approach and seem ready to accept the use of certain generalisations and common perceptions connected with age’.
Equinet’s paper will be used as a key reference document to underpin AGE work on age discrimination and older people’s rights.