University tells staff ‘elderly’ and ‘pensioners’ are ‘ageist’ and banned words | United Kingdom | News

The University of Manchester has told its staff that using words such as “elderly”, “OAPs”, “pensioners” and “young people” is “ageist” and to “actively avoid” using these terms. Staff at the university have been asked in new guidance to refer to the over-60s as “mature individuals”, “elderly” or simply “students” to “actively avoid old age terms”. The advice, published in its guide to inclusive language in 2021, tells staff not to use age “as a means of describing an individual or group where it is not appropriate”.

It also makes clear that the university “actively avoids” using terms such as those mentioned above, choosing instead to use terms that are “objective”.

The advice states: “Only include age where relevant, for example for initiatives that are only available to a certain age group.

“Do not use age as a means to describe an individual or group where it is not relevant, such as ‘mature workforce’ or ‘young and vibrant team.’

“We actively avoid age terms such as ‘elderly’, ‘OAPs’, ‘pensioners’ or ‘young people’, instead using terms that are objective.

A University of Manchester spokesman said the guidance is aimed at encouraging the use of “more inclusive language to avoid bias or assumptions and not to speak to people in ways they may perceive as disrespectful”.

The advisory is in line with the university’s “values ​​and commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion” and believes this approach follows “most other organisations”.

The spokesperson told The Telegraph: “Our guidance encourages the use of more inclusive language to avoid bias or assumptions and not to speak to people in ways they may perceive as disrespectful.

“This is in line with our values ​​and commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. We believe it is only right for us to communicate with people in the most appropriate and respectful way we can.

READ MORE: Mom spends the evening deflating tires in the mission to ‘disarm’ 4x4s

Elements of an 18-page inclusive language guide published in The Sun suggest council workers should not refer to disabled or able-bodied staff.

They also say that the common introductory phrase “Good day, ladies and gentlemen” should be replaced with “Good day everyone”.

It reportedly claims: “People who are not ‘ladies’ or ‘gentlemen’ can recognize the difference, feel included and that they belong.”

Other words and phrases the newspaper said were called for to be banned included “Caucasian”, “foreigner”, “foreigner” and “homeless”.

Also out were “mother and father”, “second generation”, “economic migrant”, “disadvantaged neighbourhood” and “low-skilled worker”.

The LGA said: “Councils are committed to ensuring that everyone is treated with dignity and respect. This guidance is designed to help councils ensure that everyone is supported and respected when seeking help from their local public services.”

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