Employers are failing to gear up for legislation that will outlaw ageism at work, a special report from the Recruitment Confidence Index has found.
The research into attitudes to age among nearly 1,500 employers found that only just over one-third (39 per cent) had introduced age policies at work with a further one in four planning to introduce policies in the next 12 months.
Nearly 30 per cent had no clear plans despite looming legislation that will make it illegal to refuse someone a job, promotion, training or benefits because of their age from October 2006.
The research also reveals that hundreds of bosses are unaware of the ageing workforce and the declining pool of younger talent. One in five employers said they had no knowledge of population changes and one in four claimed any such changes would have no impact on their businesses.
The Recruitment Confidence Index is a quarterly survey of UK directors' and managers' expectations of changes in recruitment activity and business conditions. It is produced by the Cranfield School of Management and the Daily Telegraph in association with Personnel Today.
The research into employers' attitudes towards age was sponsored by RHL Executive Search. A repeat of a 2003 survey, it found that little has changed over the past 15 months.