Friday, August 25, 2006

Long service awards are 'ageist'

Council bosses in Norfolk are planning to axe long service awards for staff - in case they are accused of being ageist. New laws that come into force in October will make it illegal to discriminate against someone on the grounds of how old or young they are. Bosses at Broadland Council say they are "reviewing" their policy of handing out awards to employees, in case they breach the rules.

According to The Sun an insider said: "The council officers are terrified of contravening the new legislation. "Officially they are saying the axing of long service awards is just one of a number of options being considered. But the word here is that they've already taken the decision."

Stuart Beadle is leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the council, which serves the Norfolk Broads and out-lying areas of Norwich. He said: "I think we ought to have a bit of common sense. If people have served councils or business for a very long time it should be recognised."

Local Age Concern worker Luis Santos added: "This is totally outrageous - absolute madness. If a person is 60 or 70 and going to get an accolade they wouldn't see it as being branded old. "It is very good for people when their contribution and achievements are recognised." A council spokeswoman said: "We are looking at all processes in terms of age, gender and race."


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