Discrimination at work affects nearly half of UK’s employees

Forty per cent of people have faced discrimination at work – with age being
the biggest problem.

In a poll by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD),
240 of the 600 respondents say they have been discriminated against at work.

A third of those harassed cite age discrimination as the reason, with just
14 per cent for gender, 5 per cent for discrimination and 2 per cent for race.

Harassment of younger employees appears to be a particular problem, with
more than half the under 25s affected.

A fifth said they have been discouraged from applying for a job because the
advert indirectly indicated an age restriction, and two-thirds believe
mandatory retirement should be scrapped.

Many respondents believe age discrimination strikes before starting work,
with 15 per cent claiming to have experienced age discrimination during a job
interview – two-thirds for being too old for the role, and a third for being
regarded as too young.

Charles Cotton, reward and employment conditions adviser at the CIPD,
believes many organisations don’t realise their systems are discriminatory.

"It is a bit of a misunderstanding. Companies must package their
recruitment, pay and benefit policies and make sure they are not
discriminating," Cotton said.

"Young people feel discriminated against because they are not given the
responsibilities they feel they deserve."

Cotton wants firms to improve line manager training to prevent
discriminatory behaviour.

The report also shows that most people are confused about pensions. Only a
quarter have calculated how much they will need, while most staff do not trust
their employer on pensions.

By Paul Nelson


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