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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47901
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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As a recruitment agency can we refuse applications from candidates

Customer Question

As a recruitment agency can we refuse applications from candidates over 65
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. It is very risky to do so and likely will amount to unlawful age discrimination. You cannot discriminate against someone because of their age and that includes refusing to employ them. You can only do so if you can objectively justify that it is necessary, for example due to health and safety concerns and when you cannot make any changes to remove such risks. But the times when you can justify that would be the exception rather than the norm so you are going to be in dangerous territory if you are simply refusing applications based on someone's age.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, we are aware that the statutory retirement age has been abolished but we did not believe that this also applied to new employment.

We don't employ candidates directly as we are an employment agency and not an employment business. We act as a go between between candidates and families who are looking for live-in nannies. Our age bracket is 18-65 as families are looking for candidates who can be active, go skiing with the children, climb trees, go wind surfing, play football etc. For us it would not be a problem to accept over 65's but there would be no demand for them. Can we set a limit to retirement age of 65 or do we have to accept all candidates whatever their age even if the are 80 year old and then leave it to our clients to make a final decision on the candidate? As the candidates are live-in we believed that there is some regulation that does not apply to live-in staff? We have received an application from a 70 year old candidate looking for a live-in nanny position and know we will not be able to find her a position as all our clients lead a very active lifestyle and want the candidates to do lots of different sporting activities with their children. The clients are overseas based.

Thanks for your assitance.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, sorry I did not see your question last night, I think there were some system issues preventing that.
Whilst the statutory retirement age has been abolished that was only a part of the whole age discrimination regulations and the prohibition of discrimination still applies. In fact the removal of the retirement age has nothing to do with your situation because you are not forcing anyone to retire, you are actually treating them detrimentally because of their age by refusing to employ them and that would still be unlawful. So you will likely have to accept the candidates of all ages but if there is no demand for them then they won’t get anywhere – it won’t really affect you but it will keep you within the law. Also you cannot say that all over 65s will not be able to cope with a more active lifestyle, most may not, but I know of some over 65s that are more active than me! So to avoid you being accused of age discrimination, it is best if you accept candidates of all ages and it would then be for the end users to decide whether they actually want the services of someone over 65.
If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether you need further help or if I can close the question? Thank you