Acas uses GCI in wake of anti-ageism legislation

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has brought in GCI following the introduction of age-discrimination laws.

A campaign will position Acas as an impartial authority on the legislation, said GCI group account director Steve Parker.

‘This is such a crowded area for giving opinion - unions, charities, and business membership bodies are all advising but they have their own agendas. Plus many SMEs do not want to have to pay lawyers to get advice,' he added.

The public awareness campaign is targeting employees and employers via national, regional and trade media. There will be a particular emphasis on broadcast, Parker revealed.

GCI will also raise awareness of Acas's training programme, which is available regionally. ‘We are supporting Acas's regional offices, making up media tools for them to use and tailoring information by area,' Parker explained.

The campaign will draw on research from different industry sectors to highlight certain issues. For example, 51 per cent of companies in the retail sector have a maximum starting age for recruits, with 22 per cent
using age to fix employees' starting salaries.

‘There are real business benefits in recruiting from the talent pool available, and this message needs to be repeated,' said Parker.

Parker, who leads the account, reports to Acas head of media and marketing Kimberly Huggins.

The Department for Trade and Industry anticipates 8,000 age discrimination cases will be brought before UK tribunals within the first year of the legislation, which came into effect this week.

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