An older workforce is the future, and we better get ready says charity

Cropage discrimination

​Survey reveals older workers' fears

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13th September 2018 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

A new report has blown the lid on age discrimination in the workplace.

The Centre for Ageing Better found that nearly half of employees over the age of 50 feel that their workplace age discrimination policy has made no difference and that nearly one in five have or have considered hiding their age in job applications.

Since turning 50, 14% of employees believe they have been turned down for a job due to their age and 18% have or have considered hiding their age in job applications.

Meanwhile 46% think their age would disadvantage them in applying for a job and one in five think people see them as less capable due to their age.

While 40% of employees over the age of 50 think their workplace has a policy related to preventing age discrimination, nearly half of these people (47%) say it has made no difference.

Commenting on the report and poll, Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland said: “These figures bring into stark reality what we hear and see from older workers and demonstrates the challenges being faced as people age. Many people in their 50s won’t think of themselves as old but the bias at work, unconscious or otherwise, is clearly prevalent.

“I know of people in their mid-50s who had previously struggled to get interviews, then remove the first ten years of their work experience from their applications and became vastly more successful in the recruitment process.

“What’s more, almost two thirds of the over-50s in work are planning to retire later than they thought they would 10 years ago. Four in ten are extending their working lives due to the rising cost of living or insufficient pension savings.

“At best, one fifth of companies have any kind of strategy for making the most out of an ageing workforce. That’s not good enough.”

Age Scotland has backed the Centre for Ageing Better’s plan on how to be an age-friendly employer.

This includes flexible working, hiring age positively, ensuring everyone has the health support they need, encouraging career development at all ages and creating an age-positive culture.

Sloan added: “Employers need to support older workers with career development and ensure everyone has the health support they need, have better flexible working arrangements, hire age-positively and create an inclusive age-positive culture in their organisations.

“Business and organisations are missing out if they don’t plan better for an ageing workforce. Getting the most from a highly skilled, talented and increasingly large group is great for business, the economy and society.

“An older workforce is the future and we better get ready.”