The British Retail Consortium is to launch an investigation into age discrimination in the retail workplace.
Human resources experts and representatives from BRC members have formed a working group which will analyse retail employment statistics and gather any evidence on ageism.
The BRC’s work will help members understand the issues before implementation of an EU employment directive, which prohibits implicit or explicit age discrimination in employment and in vocational training.
The Department of Trade and Industry is in the process of a public consultation on how the UK should meet the requirements of the directive and is considering whether the state retirement age should be abolished, among other things.
Regulations on the directive are due to be in place by 2005, and the law will be in force by 2006.
Owen Warnock, a partner at law firm Eversheds, warned that many employers would be unable to meet the deadline.
“Most employers have not taken any action yet, they have been waiting for the government to take a lead,” he said.

For more, see this week's copy of The Grocer magazine - issue dated August 23, available from all good news agents.