Employers Forum on Age hits out at ageism in the workplace

A leading campaign group has hit out at continuing ageism in the workplace highlighted by the Dispatches programme Too Old to Work, aired on Channel 4 last night.

Catharine Pusey, director of The Employers Forum on Age (EFA), said it was disappointing that two and a half years on from the 2006 age legislation, so many people were still victims of ageism at work.

“It just goes to show that a change in the law is merely the first step in a long journey towards tackling endemic social prejudices – as we’ve seen before with gender and race legislation,” she said.

“It’s down to us all as individuals to challenge our own ageist beliefs and ensure that particularly at work, we base our judgments on skills and ability, rather than age.”

A study carried out for the documentary found two-thirds of people forced to retire felt they were not ready to leave the workplace.

Age discrimination tribunal claims have rocketed recently. Figures from the Tribunal Service show that claims rose from 962 in 2006 to 2,940 in 2007.

Pusey repeated her call for the government to scrap the “archaic” default retirement age of 65. Personnel Today is supporting a campaign by the EFA to scrap the age in 2011, rather than merely reviewing it.

You can register your support for our campaign by signing the petition on the Number 10 website.

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