Most employers think their staff understand the age discrimination legislation that comes into force in October, but more than half say they haven’t a clue.
Old Age Thinking / New Age Thinking, published by recruitment firm Manpower, reveals that employers need to work harder to raise awareness of the age discrimination legislation in the workplace.
While 72% of employers believe that their employees are at least ‘aware’ of the new regulations, 51% of workers claim to be totally unaware of them.
A ban on age discrimination comes into force on 1 October, in less than three weeks’ time.
The study of more than 2,100 employers and 700 workers shows that as a result of the new legislation, 55% of workers would anticipate applying for jobs where previously they might have ruled themselves out because of their age.
Employers expect the regulations to stimulate a wider age diversity among jobseekers – with 33% anticipating more applications from people aged 50 or over once the regulations are in force.
Mark Cahill, managing director of Manpower UK, said: “Changing demographics – the ageing population and the shrinking workforce – mean that employers must embrace diversity to be competitive. In the future people will work for longer, and the age legislation should make that easier.”
Most large employers (82%) have already reviewed their HR practices ahead of the introduction of age legislation – some using age profile workforce audits, changing to HR policy and recruitment advertising.
Smaller firms are less prepared, with only 25% of employers having reviewed their HR practices.