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Are volunteers protected against age discrimination under the Equality Act?
Not unless they are carrying out unpaid work as part of a paid employment relationship or vocational training. For example, someone doing teacher training experience in school would be protected.
However, only genuine volunteers are excluded from protection. Where an individual, although described as a 'volunteer' (for example, some unpaid 'interns') is really a worker who should be paid for what they do, they will be protected by the Equality Act.