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    Peeters thinks age discrimination sanctions on the cards

    © Belga
    Peeters wants an immediate termination of age-based discrimination in the work place.
    © Belga

    The Employment Minister, Kris Peeters, will look into how employers are refusing to take on workers for aged-based reasons. This may lead to sanctions being imposed.
    He stated this when speaking on VRT radio yesterday (Monday).

    As we reported yesterday, the Inter-federal Centre for Equal Opportunies has made known that it had opened a growing number of files, following reports of aged-based discrimination.

    Across the first eight months of 2016, it opened 74 files. These figures amount to a staggering increase of 60% when compared to the whole of 2015.

    Amongst these files, nearly six out of ten relate to the over 45s.

    Mr Peeters considers these figures to be highly worrying. He began his comments by saying, “In recent years, the employment rate of older workers has increased considerably, which is a positive development.“

    He said “In addition, so has the idea of older workers themselves more often looking for a job.”

    Peeters pursued, “I would like to investigate, together with our social partners, how best to approach this form of discrimination which occurs at the point of hiring employees.”

    He went on, “It is unacceptable that, on the one hand, we are both encouraging people to look for and keep jobs and, one the other, we are putting the brakes on them doing so.”

    The minister has not given details upon how he wishes to knock this phenomenon on the head.

    He has simply evoked the concepts of “sanctions” and “concrete measures.”

    In conclusion he said “I do not expect a full and frank discussion around this issue, but we should avoid employers discriminating on the ground of age.”

    He added, “We should be able to impose penalties in this sphere.”

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times