In 2020, roughly one in ten requests for consultation to the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency concerned age.
As a ground of discrimination, age featured with relative frequency in working life, when accessing private insurance, during finance and banking transactions and when accessing public health, social services and benefits, and tertiary education. For instance, job adverts may be discriminatory to older applicants because they are addressed at “young and committed” candidates. However, younger persons are also affected. For instance, younger women are especially frequently discriminated against in the recruitment process, because employers perceive a “risk” of absence due to pregnancy or child-care.
Under the General Equal Treatment Act (German abbreviation: AGG), discrimination based on age is essentially prohibited in working life and everyday transactions. However, particularly in the working world, but also with regard to credit agreements and insurance transactions, there are also far-reaching exceptions that apply to unequal treatment based on age.
Yet, above all where loans and financing is concerned, neither the Act nor court decisions clarify which exact credit transactions fall within the scope of the AGG. Therefore, the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency demands that the proportionality of and requirements for such exceptions to the equal treatment principle be clarified.