Over a million people aged over 50 are being shunned out of the workforce due to age discrimination.
According to MPs on the Women and Equalities Committee, who put together a report on older people and employment, more than a million people aged over 50 who want to work “are being wasted because of discrimination, bias and outdated employment practices.”
They say that the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) “must be clearer that prejudice, unconscious bias and casual ageism in the workplace are all unlawful under the Equality Act 2010,” and are calling for stronger action.
Maria Miller, MP and Chair of the Women and Equalities said: “As a country we face serious challenges recruiting and retaining an experienced and skilled workforce. Until we tackle discrimination against the growing number of over 50s, they will continue to be consigned to the ‘too old’ pile instead of being part of the solution.”
However, she added that employers can be part of the solution: “The business case for an age-diverse workforce is clear. Despite this, employers continue to organise workplaces around an outdated, inflexible model that this inquiry and our past inquiries into fathers in the workplace and the gender pay gap show no longer works.
It’s time for a mandatory approach, with flexible working being the default from the time jobs are advertised onwards.”
A separate report from Centre for Ageing Better found that almost two out of five unemployed candidates over 50 have been out of a job in over a year – twice the number than that of jobseekers aged 18-24.
The organisation supports the committee’s suggestions, agreeing that UK employers need more age-friendly employment policies and practices.
You can see the original article published in HR Grapevine here.