28/08/2006

Asda announces plans to scrap birth date queries

Supermarket chain Asda will no longer ask prospective employees to supply their date of birth on application forms, the firm has announced.

The supermarket chain said that it would employ staff of all ages - from 16 to over 70 - which goes beyond new age discrimination legislation which will come into force on October 1.

Asda, which is owned by US firm Wal-Mart, has no official retirement age and allows employees to continue working until whatever age they choose.

The firm employs more than 30,000 people aged over 50 at its 308 stores across the UK.

However, the new age discrimination legislation being introduced by the government will not prevent employers from asking candidates how old they are.

It will also not scrap the mandatory retirement age, leaving people aged over 65 without the right to choose whether they carry on working.

Asda people director David Smith said: "We simply don't see the point in asking people for their age when it's completely irrelevant to our retirement process.

"We take on the best personality for the job, regardless of when they were born.

"Our oldest recruit was over 80 when they joined us and they're living proof that age isn't a barrier at Asda."

(KMcA)

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