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Ageism laws to impact on job ads

Civil engineering job adverts asking for 'senior partner' or a 'dynamic and energetic' person are set to become extinct because of fears they breach the law against ageism in the workplace that comes into force on Sunday, HR consultants told NCE this week.
Firms will have to be extra careful how they word job adverts to ensure that older or younger people are not discouraged from applying. Phrases such as 'junior' 'young', 'senior', 'mature', 'enthusiastic', and 'at least five years experience' are set to be left off adverts by HR departments worried at accusations of ageism.Director of human resources at consultant Carl Bro Jan Lewis said: 'We are looking much more carefully at how we phrase things to ensure we do not imply a certain age range. It means we have to be clearer about the skills and competencies required to ensure we don't preclude people of a certain age applying. We think it will be very empowering for people and we will benefit from legislation.'Halcrow's HR consultant legal and system Sheila Munro agreed: 'Managers will have to be much more specific about what they are looking for rather than using the stock phrases they are used to.'She added that only time will tell whether phrases such as 'dynamic' and 'enthusiastic' would be interpreted as ageist under the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006. 'There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment. Enthusiastic might be interpreted as young but as an older person I object to that.'

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