Equality Act 2010, Section 5: Age

The Equality Act 2010 outlaws discrimination on the basis of a person's age. Ageism, also called age discrimination, may take the form of someone being treated less favourably because of their actual age, their perceived age and/or the age of someone with whom they associate.

While the Equality Act 2010 protects you from age discrimination at work or when applying for a job, there is an exception in the law which applies to age discrimination only.

The exception means that an employer can make a decision based on someone’s age if they can show that it is objectively justified and proportionate. This should only be a defence in a limited number of circumstances and doesn’t mean that employers have ‘free rein’ to discriminate against older workers.


In most cases workers can now retire when they are ready, rather than when their employer decides. It is direct age discrimination to require or persuade a worker to retire because of their age unless you can objectively justify doing so.

To assist colleagues, the School has developed retirement planning guidelines. The purpose of the guidelines is to provide staff at all levels with guidance on the options available to them. Please visit the Human Resources website for more information.

In order to support staff with their transition into retirement, the HR Division also offers a one day Later Life Choices Workshop. This workshop is suitable for all staff (academic and professional services) who might be considering retirement as a realistic option in the next few years, or who have already decided to retire.


To find out more about your pension entitlement at LSE, please visit the pension website.

If you would like to contact the LSE Pensions Team, please email

Reviewing and rewarding

LSE is committed to maintaining high standards among its staff, and making sure that their achievements are recognised and rewarded. This should only be based on job responsibilities and performance respectively, not on age or length of service. More information on reviewing and rewarding can be found on the HR website.

Equality Act 2010, Section 5: Age

If you would like to know more about the legal definition of the protected characteristic of 'age', please see the following text from section 5 of the Equality Act 2010

(1) In relation to the protected characteristic of age—

(a) a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a person of a particular age group;

(b) a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons of the same age group.

(2) A reference to an age group is a reference to a group of persons defined by reference to age, whether by reference to a particular age or to a range of ages.