If your sales people are all in their 20’s and someone older just wouldn’t fit, is this age discrimination?
Yes, this is discrimination. Since October 2006 is has been illegal to exclude someone from the interview process based on age. Age cannot be a consideration that affects your decision, meaning that in terms of controlling age composition there is very little an employer can do.
There are only very specific instances in which age can be considered, such as advertising a job with a specific age group if they are otherwise under-represented in the workforce. This is seen as a positive action. However, this is not to be used to recruit directly from one age group, or exclude applications from other age groups.
To hire with age as a consideration the action needs to be justified objectively. You must be able to show what you are doing is an appropriate and necessary means of achieving a legitimate aim, and show how it actually contributes towards the achievement of your legitimate aim.
– The benefits you expect your actions to produce are sufficient to justify the amount of discrimination you are prepared to practice.
– That you are practicing no more discrimination than is strictly necessary.