Older workers are the victims of ageism, says survey

According to a new survey, a significant number of older workers questioned admitted to lying about their age, and even if they got the job, believe they are not offered the same opportunities as younger workers.

The Equality Act 2010 says you mustn’t be discriminated against because of your age, which is unlawful.

It says it’s only unlawful discrimination if you’re treated unfairly because of certain reasons. These reasons are called protected characteristics. Age is one of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act.

The poll of 2,000 workers aged 45-plus by Working Wise, a website supporting older people looking for work,  found 44 per cent admitted altering their age on their CV to make them seem more attractive to employers.

The poll revealed one-in-three (34 per cent) older workers claimed they had experienced ageism during the interview process.

Open to learning new skills

Given the current shortage of workers in the UK, this seems counterproductive. The Institute for Employment Studies says more needs to be done to bring older workers, particularly older women, back into the labour market to address the skills shortage.

The poll also showed that despite 85 per cent of older workers being open to learning new skills, more than half claimed they had been given no access to training ‘recently’, while 30 per cent believed training was mainly aimed at young people in their organisation.

Gillian Nissim, founder of workingwise.co.uk, said: “Our research has unveiled the blatant ageism that is alive and kicking in the recruitment of older workers. Times have changed significantly, we are living and working for longer, and our pensions are getting pushed back too – and yet the cards are stacked against older workers who are trying to get back in.”

Work-life balance important

The Resolution Foundation recently found the pandemic had caused the largest annual fall in employment for older workers since the 1980s – with the fall in employment among those aged over 50 being twice as large as those aged 25-49.

The Working Wise research found 95 per cent of older workers said that a good work-life balance was important, while 76 per cent wanted a better work-life balance than they did when they were younger.

More than half (51 per cent) said they would consider taking a role that was a job share.

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