Age is only a number, yet it rarely comes along by itself. Despite this, employment law changes have resulted in the retirement age of 65 for men and 60 for women being abolished. As a result, many farmers are now working beyond this and it brings added pressure for the employer and employee alike.
It is important that age is not a discriminatory factor in the hiring process of farm employees. However, the health and safety risks inherent with farming need to be communicated to all employees without causing offence.
It is possible that the many generations of farmers will not be aware of the legal issues surrounding this and as a result, may not be able to identify if they are being treated equally by their employer.
This also applies to employers, who need will need to put an emphasis on the competence of the employee to carry out the job required. This means measuring employees of all ages on the same underlying factors of perhaps manual dexterity or physical ability, as opposed to just their age.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.