‘Duty of care!’ Over 55s worry as many face ageism ‘discrimination’ at work

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Ageism is sadly an issue which appears to be prevalent, as older workers feel impacted in the workplace. A study undertaken by Canada Life has shown the extent of the issue, and the effects it has had. The research found nearly one fifth of UK adults over the age of 55 have felt discriminated against at work due to their age.

As a result, many feel their career progression is being limited as they get older.

Some 80 percent of those who think they will work beyond state pension age believe they are likely to stay in the same role because they either like it, or it is what they know best.

The reasons cited for switching roles were wanting a slower pace, or because their current role does not pay enough.

Approximately two fifths of workers are now expecting to work beyond their state pension age.

With an ageing workforce, there are fears about the prevalence of ageism, and its consequences.

Dan Crook, Protection Sales Director at Canada Life, said: “As society continues to evolve, so will our workforce. 

“While we’ve already seen the emergence of the gig economy and a rise in self-employment, the workplace has yet to fully adapt to meet the needs of older employees. 

“With one in five over-55s feeling discriminated against at work, employers have a duty of care to create an environment where workers of all ages feel included and thrive. 

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“Employers will benefit from carefully considering how they can nurture a diverse workforce. 

“Having employees of all ages will not only create an environment in which workers can share skills and experiences, it will bring different perspectives to the table too.”

Consequently, Canada Life has encouraged employers to step up to the plate to protect their ageing workforce.

UK adults have called for flexible working policies, alongside more part time opportunities and workplace benefits to help.

Some 77 percent of people also believe anti-age discrimination policies at work could help retain older workers. 

A study undertaken earlier this year by 55/Redefined in collaboration with UK charity, ProAge, also demonstrated the prevalence of ageism.

It founds that despite one in four of those asked wishing to work into their 80s, that more than two thirds of over 55s believe the job market is closed to them.

In addition, 24 percent of over 55s communicated they felt forced to retire before they wanted to. 

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The Government is also taking steps to prevent the issue of ageism occurring in the workforce.

A Government spokesperson previously told Express.co.uk: “Older workers are a huge asset to companies.

“There are currently almost nine million workers aged over 50 on employer payrolls – an increase of more than a quarter of a million compared to a year ago.

“Our recently expanded Plan for Jobs is helping hundreds of thousands of older workers to retrain, build new skills and get back into work, including through our 50 Plus: Choices offer, the Sector-Based Work Academy Programme, and our Job Entry Targeted Support scheme.”

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