Ernst & Young hone age issues

Ernst & Young (E&Y) is beginning to build new age discrimination rules into its benefits package to comply with the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations, which take effect on 1 October.

The accountancy firm has put together a team, led by senior employee relations managers, to assess all of its benefits and ensure none breach the forthcoming changes.

Neil Hunsworth, reward analyst, said: “We have a large task force looking into certain areas of our benefits so that by the time [flexible benefits] renewals come up in November there will not be any doubts around the new law.”

In particular, this team will focus on the company’s healthcare benefits and pension as these are the most likely to contain possible infringements.

“Private medical insurance tends to be age dependent with higher premiums for higher age brackets, and we will need to speak with providers about this. The pension scheme may also need changing as levels of matching contributions are separated by age,” said Hunsworth.

Lawyers agree that employers are wise to begin looking closely at their perks.