Almost half of over-50s have experienced age discrimination at work, new study reveals

A new study published this week reveals that almost half (40 per cent) of UK workers aged 50 and above have experienced some form of age discrimination at work.

The research, which was carried out by financial services firm SunLife, also found that as many as 62 per cent of over-50s felt that they had ‘lost out’ on one or more job opportunities because of their age.

SunLife’s study quizzed 50,000 UK workers aged 50 and over and found that age discrimination was rife across sectors ranging from healthcare to fashion.

It found that one in 10 respondents had felt ‘isolated’ at work and ‘left out’ of meetings, team-bonding exercises and social events. It also found that a similar number had encountered ‘negative remarks’ from colleagues and bosses about their age.

Ian Atkinson, Director of Marketing at SunLife, said: “Age discrimination and ageist language continues to be a challenge for many people.

“The average age in the UK is higher than it’s ever been and there are more people over 50 in the UK – around 24,440,415 – than ever. So, it’s disheartening to think that in 2018 so much ageism still abounds.”

The research comes at an interesting time for the issue of age discrimination, after the Government recently announced a review of whether the definitions governing hate crime offences should be amended to include ‘ageist’ attitudes and behaviour.

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Donna Martin

Donna Martin

Partner at Mackrell Turner Garrett
Donna Martin is a Partner in the Employment team at Mackrell Turner Garrett’s London office. She advises both employers and employees on a full range of contentious and non-contentious issues. As an employment law expert, Donna has significant experience in drafting employment contracts and handbooks, advising on grievance and disciplinary procedures and preparatory work prior to tribunals, including advising on the advantages and disadvantages of settling cases.