The EC Directive establishing a general framework for equal treatment in
employment and occupation covers a number of grounds of discrimination
including age. The EU’s population is ageing, but there is much evidence that
age discrimination is widespread. The Directive is a reaction to that and the
consequent desire to encourage greater participation in the labour market by
This is the first time that age discrimination has been made unlawful by the
EU and, as a result, there are now laws in every Member State making such
discrimination unlawful. The Directive, and much of the national legislation,
however, treats age discrimination differently to the other grounds for
unlawful discrimination. It is the only area which permits direct
discrimination. Age discrimination generally may still be objectively
justified by a legitimate aim if the means of achieving that aim are
appropriate and necessary. Such aims include legitimate employment policy,
labour market, and vocational training objectives.
This insightful book—written by national experts in eight Member States and at
the EU level—considers the ways in which the Directive has been implemented in
some of the Member States and the extent to which they have taken advantage of
the exceptions that are inherent in the Directive. Particular issues that are
• what legislation has been adopted in each country
• the development of the case law that exists in some States
• the demographic imperative existing in each country
• measures taken to improve the position of young people
• retirement and the exit from the workforce of older workers
• the approach and case law of the European Court of Justice
As an important contribution towards an understanding of age discrimination
within the European Union, this book opens a field of law that has heretofore
not been considered in all its seriousness. It will be of real value to
lawyers, human resource management professionals, and those with an interest
in discrimination and EU issues. It is an important contribution to what will
be a developing field of study.
Preface . Authors. 1. Age Discrimination; M. Sargeant. 2.
Age Discrimination and the Framework Directive; H. Meenan. 3.
France; S. Laulom. 4. Germany; M. Schmidt. 5.
Ireland; S. Quinlivan. 6. Italy; O. Rymkevich, C. Villosio.
7. Hungary; B. Bitskey, T. Gyulavári. 8. The
Netherlands; M. Gijzen. 9. Finland; U. Liukkunen.10.
United Kingdom; M. Sargeant. Appendix: Directive 2001/23/EC