10 November 2016
Age is nothing but a number, or is it?

New research released by totaljobs has revealed that almost two-thirds (63%) of 55-64 year olds have said they have felt discriminated against by a prospective employer because of their age. Out of those asked, only 6% of the same age group consider their age as an advantage when applying for a job.

The results also showed:

  • 72% of 55- to 64-year-olds spend over an hour prepping for an interview compared with just 62% of 16- to 24-year-olds
  • 33% of 16- to 24-year-olds had felt age discrimination
  • 21% for 25- to 34-year-olds had felt age discrimination
  • 22% for 35- to 44-year-olds had felt age discrimination

This inididcates that younger people feel much less discriminated against because of their age with the percentage decreasing with age, despite those aged 16 – 24 years.

John Salt, group sales director at totaljobs, said: “In a candidate-led market where businesses continue to create new jobs, there’s no reason for employers to miss out on talent. But our #MillionPoundJamie research shows that age discrimination, whether conscious or unconscious, still exists and is still an issue affecting many jobseekers.

“Older generations bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge. In many cases candidates with more experience tend to be more confident and able to creatively problem solve based on both the life and work experiences they have dealt with over the years.”

Furthermore, 82% of 55-64 year olds and 62% of 45-54 year olds see their age as a disadvantage when applying for a job. However, despite struggles to find work, latest Totaljobs Employment Index data shows job vacancies up 7% year-on-year in September. Across the UK there was good news for jobseekers in the North West, where the number of jobs posted in Q3 2016 versus Q3 2015 rocketed 15% and Wales grew 13%. Across sectors, some of the strongest performing were transport & logistics (up 64%), property (up 58%) and customer services (up 44%).

If someone feels they have been discriminated against in the workplace, they may be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal. However, it’s best to talk to the employer first to try to sort out the matter informally, in order to minimise the negative effects on all parties involved.  Employers cannot force employees to retire or set a retirement age unless it can be objectively justified as ‘a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim’. For further guidance on where you stand against age discrimination along with retirement rules, visit ACAS.

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