Age UK response to Women & Equalities Committee – Older workers failed by age discrimination law
Author: Age UK
Published on 17 July 2018 12:00 AM
Responding to The Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into older people and employment, Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said:
“The number of older workers is on the rise, but there are still significant barriers that prevent older workers taking a full part in the labour market. When applying for jobs, our research shows that age discrimination is still rife, with 36% of 55-64 year olds feeling like they’ve been disadvantaged or treated negatively because they were perceived as being older. A lot more needs to be done to combat the negative stereotypes of older workers.
“It’s important to note that while the actual numbers are rising, on average older workers are working fewer hours. Our research suggests this may be less through choice and more a consequence of the changing labour market, but also life factors such as increasing numbers of people with caring responsibilities, many of whom need greater support.
"There is also gender inequality, with 50+ women more likely to work in lower skilled roles than 50+ men. This often means part-time work, which in turn leads to lower investment in skills, lower pensions, and less access to flexible working as part-time working is not necessarily flexible.
“It goes without saying that if you work fewer hours you will earn less, and for older workers who are compelled to do less work than they would like, it could make it a lot tougher to cope with any rise in State Pension Age, let alone have any spare income to save for their retirement.”