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Skilled Workers Lose Out to Age Prejudice


Four fifths of European employees believe age plays a significant role in job prospects, a survey has revealed.

The study of over 12,000 job seekers across eight European countries found that the majority of those quizzed (60%) felt appropriate professional qualifications were less important than an employee’s age.

The research from online recruitment organisation Stepstone found that 40% believed it difficult for individuals over the age of 40 to find employment.

German respondents felt most unsure about the prospects for older workers, as over half admitted they would find it difficult to find new employment. Only 11% said that age was irrelevant to job prospects.

Norwegians felt most positive about opportunities for older employees. Only just over a quarter (27%) considered restricted prospects for more mature staff.

The DTI officially launched the new age discrimination laws last week. They are due to become part of UK law from October 2006.

2 Responses

  1. Perverse legislation
    I’ve attended a couple of discussions about the pending Age Discrimination legislation. The general feeling is that if you keep anyone past normal retirement age then everyone will have that right. Termination of employment, for everyone, will then be down to capability in the job. The usual Disciplinary processes will apply.

    As a result many people are saying they will retire everyone at their retirement age until case law becomes established – two or three years.

    The result of the legislation is to ensure more people are retired at their nominal retirement age than happens now.

    Perverse or deliberate?

  2. Age Descrimination Legislation Doesn’t Work
    As An Australian (now in the United Arab Emirates for a while), I’m always surprised to find British industry and government doing something well after we’ve implemented it. It was once the other way around, Australia was four or five years behind the US and UK.

    The Equal Opportunity legislation in Australia has prohibited age-based discrimination, inter alia, for at least 10 years.

    Unfortunately, unless an employer or other operative is silly enough to tell someone that they couldn’t access a job or something else because of their age, it’s very, very difficult to get sufficient evidence for a complaint to be lodged.

    So, while the fact that you didn’t get a job might really be that you are older or younger than another applicant, you haven’t got a snowflakes chance in hell of proving it.

    Perhaps the best aspect of the legislation is the message that it sends. Hopefully, those who have been discriminating will take notice and realise how unfair it is to individuals (and that they too will get old).

    Where necessary alternative legislation is excluded from the EO legislation eg, in the case of retirement, however, this is quickly being changed so that people will be able to stay at work until they drop.

    Hopefully the day will never arise when people can’t be descriminated against because of their looks, otherwise the TV channels could cease being populated with so many gorgeous women.


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