Discrimination on the grounds of age is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010; yet age tends to be one of the less commonly discussed protected characteristics.

University policy and support 

The University has a number of policies in place to support staff at different ages and life stages.

Employer Justified Retirement Age (EJRA)

The University operates an Employer Justified Retirement Age (EJRA), which applies only to certain groups of staff: Statutory Professors, Associate Professors, RSIVs (the most senior researchers), their clinical equivalents and the Vice-Chancellor. With effect from 1 October 2023, the retirement age for these groups will be 69. All other groups of staff are exempt from the EJRA, meaning that there is no specific retirement age for them.

The EJRA policy was amended in 2022 following a 10-year review. You can read more about the review and the recommended changes in this blog from the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (People and Digital) and in more detail on the University’s EJRA Review webpage.

Flexible working and support for carers

The University has a range of flexible working arrangements available to staff (some of which may depend on local operational requirements) which provide support for staff at different life stages, including parents and carers. See the relevant pages of the HR Support website for more information:

Menopause support

The University seeks to offer a positive, open and supportive work environment where staff and their colleagues and managers are well-informed about how menopause can affect people in the workplace, so that those who are experiencing negative effects of menopause feel able to ask for, and receive, the support they need to continue to thrive here at all stages of life.

The Menopause in the workplace webpages offer information and guidance for staff and managers, along with case studies, training and other resources.

External resources

See below for resources and guidance relating to age discrimination and how to promote an age-friendly workplace. Please note that these resources have been collated by the EDU for those who wish to explore the topic further, but they are not endorsed by the University.

In brief

For an overview of the law around age discrimination and what does and does not constitute discrimination, see the ACAS Age discrimination guidance.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) guidance on Age and employment also covers the legal position and outlines a range of good employment practices to avoid age discrimination, as well as useful resources for further reading.

This blog from D&I Leaders explores how employers can embrace an age-friendly workplace culture.

For an introduction to what ageism is and how we can tackle it, see this article from Pearn Kandola.

In depth

Here are some further resources on workplace ageism:

ACAS guidance – Age discrimination: key points for the workplace

A blog from a US professor offers an opinion on ageism in academia: ‘Let’s retire ageism in academe’

In this TEDx talk, Ageism in the Knowledge Era, Jennifer Manuel makes the case for shedding stereotypes about older workers that no longer serve us in today’s knowledge-based economy.

Is some ageism really ableism?: this short video provides an introduction to a research project looking at this question.

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