Age discrimination is rife in the UK

Age discrimination is widespread in UK organisations and many workers hold unrealistic perceptions about their own career prospects, according to research by the Chartered Management Institute and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. 


The results of a survey of almost 2,700 managers and HR professionals show that age discrimination persists in many organisations.

Six in10 respondents (59%) reported that they have been personally disadvantaged at work because of their age and nearly a quarter of those surveyed (22%) admitted that age has an impact on their recruitment decisions.

The research also revealed that almost half (48%) of those surveyed had suffered age discrimination through job applications while 39% believe their chances of promotion have been hindered by age discrimination.

The vast majority (80%) reported that they are hanging on to the expectation that they will retire by the age of 65, despite believing that the age of retirement for the average person in 10 years’ time will be 66 or older. 

However, just under one-third (29%) of organisations already have no mandatory retirement age. This suggests that both individuals and organisations need to consider a step-change in how they perceive age and careers so that changes in demographics are met with a more flexible approach to career planning.

Dianah Worman, CIPD diversity adviser, said: “Our research shows that most managers expect everyone to be retiring later within 10 years – except themselves. 

“There is a growing acceptance that the average worker is going to stay at work beyond 65.  But no-one seems to think it applies to them.”

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