Access to public employment. Ombudsman expresses concern in relation to discrimination on grounds of age and recommends that the Government re-examines the legislation in force

The Ombudsman sent a recommendation to the Minister for Modernization of the State and Public Administration in order to promote inter-ministerial reflection, and consequent re-examination of the legal solutions in force, in relation to the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of age in access to public employment.

The recommendation arises in the wake of persistent complaints received from people who are refused candidacy to certain professions because they exceed the maximum age for entry, as established in the diplomas that govern them, specifically in the careers of the Judiciary Police, Public Security Police, National Republican Guard, Forestry Guard, Municipal Police and Nature Guards.

The Ombudsman does not question the legitimacy of establishing a maximum age limit for recruitment, given, for example, the need to guarantee the operationality of the services. However, given that the age factor may constitute an illegitimate restriction of discrimination, it is fundamental that there is continuous questioning of the adequacy and necessity of the limits established, in light of the requirements to safeguard personal dignity and the right to equal treatment.

It should be stressed that age is a prohibited discriminating factor, as derives from the Constitution, international human rights standards and European Union law. While differences of treatment on grounds of age are admissible, they must be proportionate and justified by a legitimate aim.
To read the recommendation, click here [in Portuguese only].