Age based discrimination is a little different in that it can be justified, but only in certain circumstances.
This article examines three examples of potential age discrimination and asks you to consider whether or not there is a potential for discrimination, and if so, can the discrimination be justified.
In reading through the examples below, please keep an open mind. Also, please bear in mind that there is a distinction between direct discrimination (overt) and indirect discrimination (where a policy, criteria or practice applies equally to everyone, but may have a disproportionate effect on some more than others).
1. The Bank
TSB, LLOYDS and the Bank of Scotland all advertise "youth accounts". There is nothing new about this, it has been industry practice to create specific products targeted at young people to encourage them into the financial services world.
However, under the same heading, one of the accounts is marked up as a "student account". Again, it is industry practice to market specific products to the students of higher and further education. If you check the eligibility for a student account, you will find a requirement for a UCAS letter, proof of SAAS / LEA funding and so on. Also, a requirement to be studying for at least two years full time.
Here are the questions which arise in this example:
Is it acceptable to market a student account as one of the range of services under the heading "youth accounts"?
Are there any issues with the eligibility criteria set for the student account?
2. University Tutition Fee Discount Schemes
Edinburgh Napier University, the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow all offer 10% discount on postgraduate tuition fees provided the student is a graduate of that institution. Some Universities also attach additional conditions, for example, requiring the student to have achived a certain grade at undergraduate level, to only study full time or not to be embarking on a "professional course of study".
Are there any issues with the operation of such a "loyalty" scheme?
3. Freshers' Week
In the first week of a University or College semester, the institution or the local student body, organises a series of events for new students. In many cases, the events will be open to every new student. There will also be social events organised, these may include famous pub crawls, nights out and cultural excursions. Parallel to these events, the Institution will also organise a in induction programme designed to introduce new students to the more functional side of academic life.
What issues, if any, arise from the operation of freshers weeks or induction events?
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