Age discrimination costs hit nearly $90 billion

British government moving to abolish age discrimination in the workplace by 2006

Age discrimination is costing the British economy tens of billions of dollars and needs to stop, according to Patricia Hewitt, Britan’s Trade and Industry Secretary.

Hewitt said age discrimination is costing £36 billion ($88.5 billion Cdn) in lost production, according to a report in the LondonTelegraph.

In response, the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission will be merged to create a new Commission for Equality and Human Rights.

According to the Telegraph, supporters of the move to end age discrimination argue employers should not be allowed to discriminate against older workers. But critics have lambasted it as a government scheme to delay payment of state pensions.

A spokesperson for the Department of Trade and Industry said a white paper is being prepared on the subject and “a ban on age discrimination in the workplace will hopefully take effect from 2006.”

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