Self-styled older worker champion hits out at ageist recruitment agencies

A ‘serial litigant’ has lashed out at recruitment agencies for failing to put forward older workers for jobs.

Writing to Personnel Today, Margaret Keane defended why she made repeated ageism claims to several employers and blamed recruitment agency staff for assuming she was not qualified for certain posts.

“Recruitment agencies do not give them [employers] the opportunity of considering older candidats [sic],” she wrote.

She added agencies did not put her forward for job roles because they did not understand that her accountancy qualifications matched those required (UK GAAP or IFRS) on the job adverts.

“A lot of the problems in our industry was [sic] caused by recruitment agency staff not being properly trained and some recruiment [sic] agencies believed that UKGAAP and IFRS were a new set of accounting rules introduced in 2005. Thus they believe[d] that accountants that had qualified before 2004/05 would not be skilled in UKGAAP or IFRS. Of course UKGAAP had been our principes [sic] all along,” she wrote.

Keane has accused 22 companies of ageism, earning up to £100,000. Last month her latest claims were thrown out of court, after the barrister said she was a “serial litigator” who had no interest in applying for the jobs on offer.

However, Keane defended why she brought the claims to court. She said: “I [was] very interested in these roles. I was (and indeed still am) working part-time and I pitched myself at this level to return to a job in a large company that would offer me the prospect of advancement if I proved myself.”

On whether she felt she’d missed out on jobs because her CV was littered with spelling mistakes, she wrote: “In respect of one case in Watford there were errors on my CV caused by quickly amending data (for example, changing the present tense to the past tense and not deleting the present tense), however, this was never the reason given for not considering my CV.

“In our industy [sic] we understand that what we need to do with a CV is to convey the raw data to the agency. The agency will rewrite the CV to [its own] format and thus we do not expect the CV we submit to be sent to the employer.”

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