Public Sector: DWP warns firms to avoid ageism

The Department for Work and Pensions is campaigning to raise awareness of age discrimination at work following the hire of Geronimo PR.

The agency has been tasked with B2B and media relations around the European Directive on Age Discrimination, coming into force in October 2006. The law, enforced by the DTI, obliges employers not to discriminate on age grounds in areas including recruitment, retirement, training and promotion.

Geronimo associate director Ruth McGivern, who leads the account, said an independent body of 15 employers' organisations, the Age Partnership Group, had been set up to promote the campaign.

The group, comprising the TUC, the Institute of Directors and the CBI, will explain the importance of preparing for the legislation through members' internal and external publications. Trade media relations activity will be based on subjects such as DWP research into the legislation's impact.

Geronimo will also take a fresh approach to the department's separate Age Positive campaign, which it was re-awarded last month. 'In the past few years, we have focused on broad business media. Now we are looking at vertical industry publishers,' said McGivern.

DWP research has found that the retail, construction, health, hospitality and transport sectors were most affected by skills shortages.

Geronimo won the accounts in a two-way pitch against August.One Communications.

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