Equality and Diversity

Furlough end could lead to 400,000 redundant over 50s

Employers are reportedly failing to address ageism in the recruitment process

Over 400,000 over 50s could be made redundant as the furlough scheme ends, according to a report conducted by the Centre for Ageing Better.

The report, which used data from the Institute for Employment Studies, found that employers are failing to tackle ageism within the recruitment process.

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Some 800,000 over 50s who are willing to work are reportedly unemployed, while over 35% of the same age group who were made redundant before the pandemic have been unable to find a new job within three months.

The data shows that while employers are focusing on diversity and inclusion, few have clear strategies specifically designed to negate age bias in the recruitment process.

Anna Dixon, chief executive at the research body, said: “The labour market is changing rapidly. Not only is there rising unemployment as a result of Covid and the lockdown, but the average age of today’s workforce is rising too. 

“Many employers are missing out on the experience and skills of older workers because they face age bias in the hiring process – despite age being a protected characteristic under the law.”

With one in three workers currently over the age of 50, and one in four members of the population set to be over 65 within 20 years, the organisation has claimed it is “crucial” to regard ageism as a problem.

Dixon added: “Our new report finds that many employers don’t regard age bias as a problem, and over 50s could be facing disadvantages in the hiring process. 

“With hundreds of thousands of over 50s at risk of job losses as a result of the pandemic, it’s crucial that these workers aren’t shut out of finding new jobs by ageism in the recruitment process.”

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