The 26 July 2017 should go down in legal history. It should be remembered as the day the Supreme Court shocked everyone by ruling that the Government’s regime of fees in the Employment Tribunal (ET) system was, in fact, illegal.
Age UK has long opposed the fees, believing they are unfair and unsustainable – if employers know they can get away with treating workers illegally, then statutory employment rights aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. The laws on age (and other) discrimination that we all fought hard for would be completely undermined. Continue reading “Employment tribunal fees (at last!) ruled ‘out of order’”
This blog was contributed by Joanne Sawyer, Policy Adviser at Age UK
An ageing population, the end of forced retirement and a rising State Pension age, mean that there are now more older workers (those aged 50 or over) in the jobs market. This trend is projected to increase over the next decade – between 2012 and 2022 there will be an extra 3.7 million workers aged between 50 and State Pension age. Alongside this, given population changes, there will be fewer younger people entering work. Employers and recruiters consequently need to embrace the ageing demographic of the workforce.
Working life for the over 50s
However, although the overall increase in employment rates among older workers is welcome, it does not tell the full story of working life for the over 50s. Perceptions and stereotypes of older workers – usually negative – are still firmly held, and challenging these is vital for individuals, employers and society. They affect the way that older workers are treated when in work (e.g. in accessing training or promotion opportunities) and when out of work (e.g. long-term unemployment is a particular problem for the over 50s, with 44% of those who are unemployed having been out of work for over a year, compared to 32.0% for all 16-64 year olds). Ensuring that older workers are not forced out of the labour market, and providing appropriate support to those who find themselves unemployed, remains crucial if we are to avoid storing up social problems for the future.
A Best Practice Guide for Recruiters
Age UK believes that it is in everyone’s interests for people to be able to remain in work for as long as they desire and are capable of doing so, and that no-one should be disadvantaged because of their age. This is why we have partnered with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation to produce a best practice guide for recruiters.
- Understand the benefits of recruiting older workers and promote the business case for employing this age group to clients.
- Look beyond the stereotypes.
- Provide information, advice and training to recruitment staff to help them understand and overcome the barriers faced by older jobseekers.
- Be mindful of the language used in job adverts.
- Seek to use a diverse range of platforms to advertise jobs.
- Designate an internal advocate for older people.
- Forge links wherever possible with welfare-to-work providers and Jobcentre Plus.
We call on all recruiters and employers to look beyond an individual’s age and make best use of the available skills and expertise of all workers.
Read the best practice guide for recruiters
Read consumer advice about employment on the Age UK website
On 26 June, Age UK is supporting a free conference at the Mobility Roadshow looking at how we can improve road safety for older drivers. Joe Oldman, Age UK’s Consumer and Community Policy Advisor, explains the current issues in the older driver debate.
For many of us, continuing to drive as we get older is essential – a car may determine our ability to remain active and independent. The thought of having to give up driving can be distressing, especially in places where alternative forms of transport are limited or non-existent.
Challenging the myths about older drivers
With an increase in older drivers, there is growing concern about the implications for road safety. Media coverage about older drivers and safety can be unhelpful or even insulting – dealing in lazy stereotypes rather than considering the evidence. The vast majority of older drivers, with many years of experience, are often safer than younger drivers. Those drivers aged 75 and over make up 6% of all licence holders, but account for just 4.3% of all deaths and serious injuries on the road. By contrast, drivers aged 16-20 make up just 2.5% of all drivers but 13% of those killed and seriously injured.
Continue reading “Testing times for older drivers?”
This week’s blog from our General Election Series highlights the significant role older people play in society. Our ambition for the next Parliament is a world where everyone can participate in society and be valued for their contribution.
Older people make a huge contribution to society, going well beyond what is widely recognised. Age UK has previously estimated that all the work, caring and volunteering done by the over 65s adds up to a huge contribution of £61 billion to the economy.
But it’s about far more than just the hard economic value – being able to take an active part in society can make a huge difference to the lives of older people themselves, their friends and relatives, and everyone else too.
It is therefore extremely important that this contribution is fully recognised, and to make sure that barriers preventing people engaging in their community, accessing local services or going online, are tackled, so that everyone who chooses to do so can participate. Continue reading “General Election Series: Making a (huge) contribution”
If you want to raise a few eyebrows, there’s nothing like busting a stereotype.
Older workers are perceived in many (usually negative) ways, and such stereotypes are often deeply ingrained with the nation’s psyche. However it’s often unfair to apply them to the majority of people, which is why it’s important we challenge them.
This blog dissects just one: that as people age, their health gets worse and cognitive ability declines making them less productive in the workplace.
Our new briefing, which draws its conclusions based on a wide range of research evidence, explains in detail why this view in incorrect.
Continue reading “An older worker, but just as productive”
This blog was contributed by David Mortimer, Head of Digital Inclusion, at Age Age UK.
For many years, local and national organisations have been working to support individuals learn how to use computers. Despite many good initiatives and easier to use technology, new approaches are needed to reach and support those at risk of being increasingly cut off from the public and commercial service offers which assume both access and the skills to use their products.
That this remains primarily an older person’s issue is no surprise, but most older people have joined the digital age and many are competent. Those who have been left out, or have chosen to be left out, are not a homogenous group with one catch-all solution.
The traditional approach of marketing the benefits of being online has a role, but will continue to miss the mark for the majority of ‘digitally excluded’ older people. With so many simply not seeing any relevance of engaging with technology to them, the benefits should be seamed through everyday interventions and social activities so that older people can make choices based on a better knowledge of how this technology can enhance their unique combination of interests and circumstances. Continue reading “Who are the older digitally excluded?”
This blog was contributed by Chris Ball, Chief Executive of TAEN – The Age and Employment Network
1st October – UK Older People’s Day and the UN International Day of Older Persons – saw the launch of a petition against age discrimination in the labour market. With age discrimination in employment made unlawful in the UK since 2006, it may come as a surprise to learn that this is needed, yet age discrimination in the job recruitment process seems to be a common experience.
The idea for the petition – led by TAEN – The Age and Employment Network – came after increasing evidence that age discrimination carries on regardless when people are recruited into new jobs.
The problem is that age discrimination in recruitment is very hard to prove. So long as we have not eradicated ageist attitudes these can be expressed in the hidden, sometimes unconscious, always irrational prejudices of recruiters. Continue reading “Guest blog – Striking a blow against age discrimination”