Anti-age discrimination legislation has not reduced incidents of ageism in the workplace

The amount of ageism in the workplace has barely decreased in the 12 months since it became unlawful, according to research.

A survey by the Employers Forum on Age (EFA) found that 59% of workers believe they have witnessed ageist behaviour in the past year.

This is scant improvement on the 61% who reported such behaviour in the 12 months to 1 October 2006, when anti-age discrimination legislation was introduced.

EFA chief executive Sam Mercer said: “Age discrimination laws have been in effect for one year, and good progress has been made in some areas. However, ageist attitudes are still ingrained, and changing that culture is a much bigger task, but one which cannot be avoided.”

Mercer said that an average of 200 age discrimination claims were lodged every month with the Employment Tribunal Service.

“No employer can afford to bury their head in the sand and hope this issue will just go away,” she added.

Three in 10 workers are aware of an older person getting paid more money than a younger person for doing the same job, according to the survey.

One in three see people being managed differently depending on their age.

Fifteen per cent have had a younger person in the workplace overlooked for promotion in favour of an older one, irrespective of experience.

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