Government must practise what it preaches on equality

If equalities minister Harriet Harman is serious about encouraging diversity, then why hasn’t the government made all public sector organisations carry out an age audit of staff (‘Equality Bill laid before MPs’,, 26 June)?

Our work in matching older workers to employer needs has shown that the public sector is the most institutionally ageist in the UK. While public bodies have now presumably changed their policies to comply with age discrimination legislation, from the feedback of thousands of our clients, we doubt whether this has been put into practice.

What better way to praise the good and shame the bad public sector employers than by quickly, simply and cheaply publishing the statistics on age and employment. So why has nothing been done? We fear that this is a symptom of the government’s tokenism over ageism, and that there is no real commitment towards overcoming it.

If the government cannot get its own house in order, how can we expect any real change for the many millions of workers aged over 50?

Chris Walsh, director, Wise Owls

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