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Extending Working Life for Older Workers

Age Discrimination Law, Policy and Practice

By: Alysia Blackham
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Published: 03-11-2016
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 256
ISBN: 9781509905768
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £60.00
Online price : £54.00
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About Extending Working Life for Older Workers

The UK population is ageing rapidly. While age discrimination laws are seen as having broad potential to address the 'ageing challenge' and achieve instrumental and intrinsic objectives in the context of employment, it is unclear what impact they are having in practice. This monograph addresses two overarching research questions in the employment field: How are UK age discrimination laws operating in practice? How (if at all) could UK age discrimination laws be improved? A reflexive law theoretical standpoint is employed to investigate these issues, applying a mixed methods research design that engages qualitative, quantitative, doctrinal and comparative elements. This book demonstrates the substantial limitations of the Equality Act 2010 (UK) for achieving instrumental and intrinsic objectives. Drawing on qualitative expert interviews, statistical analysis and organisational case studies, it illustrates the failure of age discrimination laws to achieve attitudinal change in the UK, and reveals the limited prevalence of proactive measures to support older workers. Integrating doctrinal analysis, comparative analysis of Finnish law, and the Delphi method, it proposes targeted legal and policy changes to address demographic change, and offers an agenda for reform that may increase the impact of age discrimination laws, and enable them to respond effectively to demographic ageing.

Runner up of the 2017 SLS Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship. The author was also awarded the 2020 ISA-RCSL Adam Podgórecki Junior Prize.

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Methodology
3. A Doctrinal Critique of UK Age Discrimination Laws
4. Expert Perspectives on the Operation of Age Discrimination Laws
5. Generalising the Qualitative Findings-Quantitative Analysis of WERS6
6. A Comparative Perspective-The Case of Finland
7. Explaining the Quantitative Findings-Organisational Case Studies
8. Constructing Future Scenarios-The Delphi Method
9. Conclusion


“Overall, this is an ambitious book that succeeds in locating an analysis of the limitations of age discrimination law within a wider context of policy and organisational practices that favour compliance rather than the pursuit of best practice... the author demonstrates a high level of competency with mixed methods and establishes a good case for the utility of socio-legal research. The book deserves to be read not just by legal scholars and students of jurisprudence, for whom the political economy and mixed methods approaches will be insightful, but anyone with an interest in age discrimination in employment, i.e., frankly, us all.” –  Jim Arrowsmith, Massey University School of Management, Labour and Industry

“The book represents great value since it provides real solutions for improving age discrimination laws... The book is recommended for labour law and discrimination experts, those interested in the area of age discrimination of older people, and socio-legal and empirical legal research.” –  Krystyna Bakhtina, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Ageing & Society

“This book can serve as a starting point for future researchers to draw on the author's outline reflexive theory and empirical mixed method approach to develop a concerted approach to age discrimination at work, which is both up to date, responsive and based on enduring principles of fairness.” –  George R Bell, London South Bank University, British Journal of Industrial Relations

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