A fifth of over-55s have felt discrimination at work

A fifth of over-55s have felt discriminated against at work

  • 19% of over-55s have felt discrimination at work because of their age
  • Flexi-working, more part-time opportunities and workplace benefits cited as top measures to support and attract an older workforce

Nearly one fifth (19%) of UK adults over the age of 55 have felt discrimination at work due to their age, research from Canada Life today reveals. By contrast, two fifths (40%) of UK adults aged 18-34 feel their own career progression has been limited due to older employees who have senior positions or have spent more time at the company.

Four fifths (80%) of over-55s who think they will work beyond their state pension age believe they are likely to stay in the same role – either because they like their current job / role (36%) or because it is what they know best (31%) However, across all UK adults who think they will work beyond their state pension age, about a third (32%) are likely to change roles due to wanting a complete change of pace (22%) and because their current role doesn’t pay well enough (22%).

discrimination

How employers can support their ageing workforce

However, with over two fifths of workers (44%) expecting to work beyond their state pension age, employers will need to ensure they are creating a workplace where employees of all ages can succeed.

UK adults say that flexible working (83%) is the most important asset an employer can offer to support and attract an older workforce. This was closely followed by having more part-time opportunities (82%) and appropriate workplace benefits (79%). A similar number (77%) feel anti-age discrimination policies would help retain an ageing workforce, while 76% are looking for new skills training.

Dan Crook, Protection Sales Director at Canada Life comments:

“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. 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.”