Nearly half of older staff experience discrimination

Nearly
half of older staff have experienced age discrimination in the workplace, a
survey finds.

The
survey of 2,100 older workers by website FiftyOn reveals that 44 per cent of
respondents had experienced ageism at work and of those, 66.3 per cent decided
to leave that job because of the position in which they were placed.

Other
findings include:

·           73
per cent had experienced ageism when applying for jobs – of those, 32 per cent
reported over 5 instances

·           78 per cent of all incidents had
happened within the last year

·           66.8 per cent of the incidents
occurred within companies with a workforce of more than 500 employees

·           The executives responsible for 64 per
cent of these ageism incidents were aged in their twenties with 30 per cent in
their thirties

·           19.9
per cent of the respondents had been rejected over 80 times on the grounds that
they were either ‘too old’ or ‘too experienced’

·           The questionnaire was completed online by 2,110 FiftyOn
users. 13.2 per cent were aged over 65, 23.6 per cent over 60, 28.9 per cent
over 55, 32 per cent over 50 and 2.3 per cent under 50.  A total 28 per cent of respondents were
female

John
Gordon-Saker, chief executive of FiftyOn said: “This survey confirms our worst
fears.  British companies are already
suffering from a lack of experience and soon, due to the drop in birth rate,
there will not be enough young recruits to fill vacancies.

"Our
survey indicates that there is a fear among younger managers of recruiting
staff who may prove to be more experienced than them. Recruit a 22 year old and
they will probably jump ship to a competitor after five years with a lot of
knowledge, having gratefully accepted all the training thrown at them.  Recruit a 55 year old and you will have a
loyal employee for at least 10 years, or even longer thanks to this
government’s dilution of pension values.”

“Forward
thinking companies like Asda and Carphone Warehouse who welcome applications
from older workers will be the real winners when the skills shortage hits in
five years’ time.

Most
CEOs need to investigate their own recruitment practices now as the majority of
HR departments seem merely to pay lip service to the ageism debate without
understanding the impact that the ageing demographic will have on their bottom
line. 

This
disgraceful waste of experience is being swept under the carpet by the
government because it realises this has all the makings of a national scandal,
with legislation not likely to be introduced until 2006.”

By Ben Willmott                                                                                          

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