The Employment Equality (Age) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2006 were laid before Parliament on 10 November 2006. The Department for Work and Pensions has said that it will not be introducing a ‘compliance window’ to give those responsible time to comply with the requirements. To do so is outside the powers of the UK as the EU Employment Directive which the Regulations implement requires all EU countries to have the laws in place by 2 December 2006.
The Regulations therefore came into force on 1 December 2006. They make substantial amendments to Schedule 2 of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations, which sets out the age-related aspects of the operation of occupational pension schemes that will continue to be allowable without having to be objectively justified by the schemes themselves, extending and clarifying the range of exemptions.
To ensure that pension schemes meet the new requirements, employers and trustees should take immediate action to remove any potentially discriminatory practices. Failing to do so could result in a ‘levelling up’ of benefits, where there is unlawful discrimination on age grounds, for the period from 1 December until such time as the individual scheme rules are changed.