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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Single Equality Bill - toothless trivia

This a UK Government’s Green Paper (i.e. it invites comments and then goes ahead and creates the legislation it intended to in the first place).

It is 190 pages of Government speak. It makes profound statements like it will become illegal to stop women to breast feeding, wherever the fancy takes them and loads of other equally trivial nonsense.

My great fear was that this legislation might start trampling all over the 50-plus market creating a pile of unintended consequences. It looks like my fears were ill founded.

This gives a feel for how they intend to deal with age discrimination in the provision of products and services. This is an edited abstract from the report

Should we decide to legislate in this area, to ensure a commonsense approach to preserving beneficial and justifiable practices such as cheaper access to leisure facilities for people of State pension age. For example, we consider that exceptions would probably be needed to allow:

• age-based concessions

• age differences in the calculation of annuities and insurance premiums and benefits, provided they are reasonable and based on objective evidence of the underlying difference in risk

• insurance companies to design and provide products for specific market segments (for example, younger or older drivers);

• the use of age criteria to provide tailored, targeted housing services for older and younger people;

• age limits on group holidays.

So we it looks like we will still see “50-plus “ loans and Saga holidays for the 50-plus. If you are a UK company I suggest somebody in your organisation is tasked with reading the thing since the "devil is in the detail" with these types of documents. Dick Stroud

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