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KEY questions answered by the experts.

Q: THERE’S been quite a bit in the press recently about the new age discrimination laws. I’m 55 years old – how will the new legislation benefit me?

A: ALTHOUGH training and development opportunities in a company are always open to all employees, recent research has highlighted that many workers over 50 do not think they are for them.

One advantage to the over-55-year-old is that training and development is very much for you since the new regulations came into force in October.

Whatever your longer-term plans, employers must now ensure that they focus on training and developing the older workers as much as they do the younger ones.

The old excuse of ‘Well, they’ll be gone soon and so it’s not worth the money to train workers over 55’ is no longer the case.

Indeed, employers are missing out on a whole load of valuable experience by ignoring the development needs of workers over 55.

The new regulations mean employers should look at who attends training and development events. Companies need to consider whether they are attracting their entire workforce to events whatever their age, or if they need to think about why such events are not attractive to older workers.

Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) advisers can offer employers practical advice on how to make the most of employees over-55. Alternatively, you can call our helpline on 08457 474747.

Head of equality services, Acas

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