If you notice an age requirement in job advertisements that prevents you from applying for the job you want, you should investigate whether such a requirement in the advertisement is justified. Including an age requirement in a job advertisement is permitted only if it is in line with the law – for example, minors are not allowed to serve alcohol (§ 7 Employment Contracts Act). What if age is irrelevant for a particular job, but the employer claims otherwise?
If the job advertisement contains an age limit that is unrelated to the job or does not arise from the nature of the job, it is still worth applying for the job you want. If an employer rejects a job application on the grounds of age and instead chooses a younger, less qualified person, this is likely to be a case of unequal treatment. In this case, the job applicant has the right to contact the Labour Inspectorate or the Equality Commissioner to clarify their rights. If it turns out that there has been unequal treatment and the victim has been unfairly dismissed, they have the right to claim damages.
Unequal treatment based on age is prohibited in employment, promotion, recruitment and the establishment of selection criteria (subsection 2 (2) of the Equal Treatment Act). However, differences of treatment on grounds of age, if provided by law, do not constitute discrimination if they are objectively and reasonably justified by a legitimate aim related to employment policy, labour market, vocational training or social security, and if the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary (subsection 9 (2) of the Equal Treatment Act). A difference of treatment does not constitute discrimination where, by reason of the nature of the particular occupational activities concerned or of the context in which they are carried out, age constitutes a genuine and determining occupational requirement, provided that the aim is legitimate and the requirement is proportionate (subsection 10 (1) of the Equal Treatment Act).
This explanation does not constitute legal aid in a specific case. Therefore, if you feel that you have been treated unequally, but you did not find a solution to your problem in this article, or if you have a question, please contact the Equality Commissioner by e-mail at email@example.com or telephone +372 626 9059. The anonymity of the person is guaranteed when contacting the Commissioner.