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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Discrimination In The Workplace

People aged 50 or above who lose their jobs are more likely to remain out of work for longer periods of time than all other age groups. Research produced by think tank Policy Exchange also found that older workers are still being discriminated against on the grounds of their age.

The report – Too Much to Lose: Understanding and Supporting Britain’s Older Workers – found that there are currently 8.3 million people aged between 50 and 65 in employment. Making up over a quarter of the entire UK workforce, the valuable contribution that older workers make is often ignored.

The research found that while the number of people working past the age of 50 has significantly increased over the past two decades, older workers who lose their jobs find it a lot more difficult to get back into work than other age groups. At the end of 2011, 189,000 over-50s who were unemployed (43%) had been out of work for a year or more. This compared to 26% of 18-24 unemployed year olds and 35% of 25-49 unemployed year olds.

The report makes a number of recommendations including:

  • Encouraging employers to hold ‘protected conversations’ with employees around retirement. Instead of introducing new employment regulations, an informal framework could be set up that allows employers to talk to older workers about future working arrangements.
  • The Youth Contract, which provides £1 billion to young people out of work, should be extended to workers of all ages in a way that is targeted at those individuals furthest away from the labour market. It should be renamed The Jobs Contract.
  • Volunteering should be promoted among older workers, especially where they need to develop skills and confidence to broaden improve their chances of re-entering paid employment.
  • More conditions should be placed on people of all ages to find work. For those older workers whose experience is not suited to current opportunities in the labour market there should be a condition that they must show evidence of looking for work in different sectors.
  • In the small minority of cases where the individual has failed to meet his or her requirements to look for work after six months on benefits, jobcentre advisers should have the option of requiring mandatory work experience in a sector that will help the jobseeker get back into future employment.

A recent report from work-life charity Working Families has revealed that many parents are facing impossible choices and discrimination at work.

The report, which was based on calls to the charity's free legal advice line, found that employers are less willing to consider a variety of working patterns, and are imposing changes which undermine parents’ ability to combine work and childcare.

The report also revealed that 8% of calls in 2011 concerned pregnancy and maternity discrimination, including callers dismissed when they told their employer they were pregnant, demoted on their return to work, and unfairly selected for redundancy.

Other callers reported that they could not afford to return to work after childbirth, because of high childcare and travel costs, while parents of disabled children could not find any affordable, appropriate childcare.

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