Legal protection against age discrimination

The European Union has since 2000 a directive banning – among others – discrimination on the basis of age in employment and occupation.

You are protected in the workplace

This means that:

  • You are protected by the law if, for example, you think you are being treated unfairly when applying for a job because you are a(n) young/older person.
  • You are protected by the law if, for example, you have a job where your colleagues treat you badly – such as by calling you names or making jokes at your expense because you are a(n) young/older person.
  • You are protected by the law if, for example, your boss refuses you promotion or training because you are a(n) young/older person.

In July 2008 the European Commission proposed another directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of age (amongst other discrimination grounds) which would ban discrimination in the areas of social protection, education and access to goods and services. The proposal is under discussion by EU Member States in the Council of the European Union.

 EU framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation 

EU funding

The European Commission supports EU countries and civil society in combating discrimination through the rights, equality and citizenship (REC) programme 2014-2020

  • national equality and non-discrimination bodies can get funding for anti-discrimination projects
  • the Commission financially supports civil society organisations promoting the right to fair treatment and working to address age discrimination, such as AGE Platform Europe