Research perspectives

Workplace a major source of age discrimination, new research finds

Age discrimination is most commonly occurring at work. Research published alongside a campaign to tackle ageism in England has revealed that while ageism is also evident on social media and television, it is experienced most often in the workplace.

The Centre for Ageing Better’s research found that thirty-seven per cent of people in their 50s and 60s who experienced age discrimination in the past 12 months said this most commonly happened in the workplace. Older employees are also less likely to receive training once in a role, the Centre for Ageing Better said.

Separate research carried out by the charity in 2021 found that one in three people aged over 50 thought they had been turned down for a job because of their age. This is consistent with a YouGov survey in 2022, which found that one in five employers believed age discrimination took place in their organisation.

Attracting and retaining more over-50s in employment is one of the key facets of the current government’s strategy to tackle economic inactivity. Many over-50s have left work following the pandemic, through ill health, lifestyle changes or otherwise.

Centre for Ageing Better’s “Age Without Limits” campaign urges employers to sign the age-friendly employer pledge and make their workplaces more accessible and inclusive for older people by considering the language used in job adverts, flexible working opportunities, and whether the impact of menopause can be discussed openly at work.