Age discrimination legislation has led to a significant increase in job moves amongst “older” workers in the financial services sector.
Figures from financial services recruiter Joslin Rowe reveal that the over-35s account for 18.1% of total moves today – compared with only 14.0% five years ago.
The runaway winners from the legislation are the over-56s.
Five years ago, they made up only 0.1% of job changes in the financial services sector. However, following the legislation, this figure has grown to 0.5%. The increase represents an absolute increase of 323.2% over the last five years.
Tara Ricks, Managing Director of Joslin Rowe’s permanent recruitment business, said: “Younger workers in financial services have always been far more inclined to move jobs, as this often represents the quickest way to progress their careers. However, as a result of the age discrimination legislation, people over the age of 35 in the sector are more likely to move around – and the proportion of over-56s prepared to make a change has risen dramatically”.
She added, “In the past this age group has been most reluctant to move jobs. While part of the reason is that older workers tend to be more settled, apprehension over inequalities in recruitment processes has also played a significant role in holding people back. The legislation has been instrumental in increasing people’s confidence to try what they haven’t tried in the past and move jobs.”
In spite of the impact of the legislation, the under-35s still comprise the largest segment of the sector’s workforce as well as accounting for the vast majority of job moves.
The financial and business services sector employs approximately 5.7 million people across the UK, 54.0% of which are under the age of 35 – or around 3.08 million people.
At the same time, 81.9% of job moves are made by the under-35s. 46.0% of workers in financial services are aged 35 or over, approximately 2.62 million people, but they are still far less likely to seek a position elsewhere (18.1% of total moves).
There are around 285,000 employees aged 56 or older – 5.0% of the total – but, even today, these comprise a disproportionately small number of people changing jobs (0.5%).
The Employment Equality Regulations came into force in October 2006. The regulation applies comprehensively to all areas of employment, including pay and benefits; pension schemes; retirement age; harassment; training and promotion.
Tara Rick said: “The legislation was designed to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of age for all employees and job seekers and although it is still early days, it is doing just that.”