The Confederation of British industry (CBI) has expressed strong concerns over some aspects of new European discrimination laws.
The CBI praised the British government for getting a broadly workable result on the rules covering disability, sexual orientation and religious belief contained in the discrimination laws which were approved in mid-October by the EU. But it made clear that business will be disappointed by the "fuzzy law" on age discrimination, which, the CBI said, will cause considerable confusion.
John Cridland, the CBI deputy director-general, posed some of the questions that still needed to be answered. "Will a company be able to enforce a contractual agreement to retire? Can a firm
offer a higher rate of pay to older staff? Will it still be it okay to offer older workers generous voluntary redundancy packages as a way of avoiding forced redundancies?
It is important to tackle unfair age discrimination, but legislation is not the simple panacea some people think." The CBI fears the law will lead to more employment tribunal applications.