UK in top three in least biased table

Levels of workplace discrimination in the UK are low by global standards, a major survey has found.

The UK is ranked 25th on the list of 28 countries worldwide, and 14th among the 16 European countries in the survey. In Europe, the highest rates of workplace discrimination were in Sweden, Hungary and Italy, while UK, Denmark and Luxembourg had the lowest.

The Global Workforce Index, by employment agency Kelly Services, surveyed 70,000 people in 28 countries, including almost 6,000 UK respondents.

It found that 40% of UK jobseekers believe they had been discriminated against when applying for work in the past five years.

One-third (31%) had experienced discrimination in their day-to-day working life. The major source of discrimination was age, cited by 17%. This was followed by race (8%), gender (6%) and disability (2%).

The survey also highlighted the range of potential problems that might arise as a result of the age discrimination legislation, introduced on 1 October.

More than 50% of workers aged 45 or older felt they had been discriminated against on the basis of their age. However, 16% of younger workers aged up to 24 also believed they were victims of age discrimination.

Discrimination was highest in engineering, IT, distribution, manufacturing and utilities in the UK.

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