Age research

Wise Age is a social enterprise specialising in all aspects of Age and Employment with particular reference to the needs to older working age adults (50+).

We currently publish employment data from the Office of National Statistics which relates to older working age adults here: Older workers employment statistics.

Past research has focused on use of the Freedom of Information Act to obtain data on public sector organisations in order to monitor age in the labour market.

Are matters improving or is there a pattern that reveals a continuation of discrimination?

 

Age & Employment Equality Legislation

Following EU regulations the UK Government introduced age, employment and equality legislation in 2005, subsequently updated in 2010 and 2012. As a result of this legislation ...

It is unlawful because of age to:

  • discriminate directly against anyone - unless it can be objectively justified
  • discriminate indirectly against anyone - unless it can be objectively justified
  • subject someone to harassment related to age
  • victimise someone because of age
  • discriminate against someone, in certain circumstances, after the working relationship has ended, unless objectively justified
  • compulsorily retire an employee unless it can be objectively justified.

Employers should ensure they have policies in place which are designed to prevent discrimination in:

  • recruitment and selection
  • determining pay
  • training and development
  • selection for promotion
  • discipline and grievances
  • countering bullying and harassment.

Discrimination because of age covers four areas:

Direct discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of their actual or perceived age, or because of the age of someone with whom they associate. This treatment can only be justified if it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim

Indirect discrimination: can occur where there is a policy, practice or procedure which applies to all workers, but particularly disadvantages people of a particular age. For example, a requirement for job applicants to have worked in a particular industry for ten years may disadvantage younger people. Indirect discrimination can only be justified if it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim

Harassment: when unwanted conduct related to age has the purpose or effect of violating an individual's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual

Victimisation: unfair treatment of an employee who has made or supported a complaint about age discrimination.

Age Discrimination

Age discrimination

It is unlawful because of age to:

  • discriminate directly against anyone - unless it can be objectively justified
  • discriminate indirectly against anyone - unless it can be objectively justified
  • subject someone to harassment related to age
  • victimise someone because of age
  • discriminate against someone, in certain circumstances, after the working relationship has ended, unless objectively justified
  • compulsorily retire an employee unless it can be objectively justified.

Employers should ensure they have policies in place which are designed to prevent discrimination in:

  • recruitment and selection
  • determining pay
  • training and development
  • selection for promotion
  • discipline and grievances
  • countering bullying and harassment.

Discrimination because of age covers four areas:

Direct discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of their actual or perceived age, or because of the age of someone with whom they associate. This treatment can only be justified if it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim

Indirect discrimination: can occur where there is a policy, practice or procedure which applies to all workers, but particularly disadvantages people of a particular age. For example, a requirement for job applicants to have worked in a particular industry for ten years may disadvantage younger people. Indirect discrimination can only be justified if it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim

Harassment: when unwanted conduct related to age has the purpose or effect of violating an individual's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual

Victimisation: unfair treatment of an employee who has made or supported a complaint about age discrimination.

Age and Equality

This page is part of our Age Research archive so the information is out of date and some of the links might not work. We are currently updating our research and will replace the information on this page in due course.

Equality info

Every worker should be able to do their job flexibly unless a business can justify otherwise, according to a new Age UK report, A Means to Many Ends.

Flexible working practices include working from home, doing flexitime or different working hours, or simply being able to swap shifts.

Age UK believes that an important way to unleash the full potential of Britain’s older workers, many of whom are unable to work conventional hours because of caring responsibilities and the need to balance other personal issues with work, is to change the UK’s traditional and more rigid approach to work.

These changes, the charity says, would enable older people to use their years of experience to contribute to the economy and extend their working lives. This would also de-stigmatise flexible working and encourage employers to examine how the practice could benefit their organisation.

Age UK’s Charity Director General, Michelle Mitchell said, ‘With their skills and knowledge, older workers are an invaluable asset to the UK economy. Yet, far too many people aged 50 and over are locked out of the job market because they are unable to work conventional hours, often because they have to care for a relative or have health issues.’

‘In these tough economic times when the UK needs to make the most of its resources, it is just common sense for the Government and employers to embrace flexible working.’

According to Age UK’s report, there are currently nearly 900,000 people in the UK working past the age of 64 and nearly 8 million people aged 50-64 who are economically active. But a further 735,000 people aged 50 and over want to work but are economically inactive. Factors including the UK’s ageing population, rising State Pension age and poor private pension return, mean in the future this number is likely to get even bigger.

The report’s recommendations seem sensible, yet overlook the practicalities of how difficult it can be for smaller employers to accommodate flexible working. Also, it fails to place sufficient emphasis on the fact that a desire to work flexibly in later life is by no means solely related to need. Many older people simply want to work flexibly rather than continuing the full-time grind, and could be tempted to remain economically active or to return to the workplace if more flexible working options were available in jobs other than retail and similar industries.

 

We have compiled a collection of vital information relating to the world of Equality that will provide you and your organisation with the necessary facts & figures to improve your understanding of the law, the business sense and the supporting facts for recruiting a diverse workforce.

The Business sense:

Besides it being both a legal requirement and an ethical approach to employing people there are good business reasons why an employer should explore all avenues to find the best person for the job and have a staff which is as diverse at least as its customers. We have compiled easily digestible points for why a diverse work place makes business sense.

 

 Britain's Diverse population:

Did you know:
  • There are almost 61 million people living in the United Kingdom, slightly more women than men.
  • Nearly 31 million of us are working or actively looking for work (most of the rest are under 16 or are retired).
  • Around 3.5 million disabled people are in employment – around one in eight of all working age people in employment.
  • 45% of the UK population identify themselves as having no religious belief (though they may hold non-religious beliefs, such as Humanism). 47.5% of people say they are Christian, while 3.3% are Muslim, 1.4% Hindu, 0.5% Jewish, 0.2% Sikh, 0.2% Buddhist and 1.4% other non-Christian religions.
  • HM Treasury Actuaries estimate that 6% of people are attracted to people of the same sex (lesbian women and gay men) or both the same and opposite sex (bisexual people)

 

We are indeed a diverse people and for more detail on our diverse population then click on the link below.

 

 

Snapshot Facts and figures about Diversity

  • 56% of refugees over 18 have a qualification
  • 80% of the ethnic minority population is aged 16-35 with an annual disposable income of £32 billion
  • 18% of the Working Population have a disability, which translates to 8.7 million in the UK, with an annual spending power of £50 billion
  • 50% of working age in some urban areas will be ethnic minorities by 2010
  • 8% of all new entrants into the labour force will be ethnic minorities by 2010
  • In less than 7 years, only 20% of the UK workforce will be white, able-bodied men under 45
  • 56% of refugees over 18 have a qualification
  • By 2020 60% of the western population will be over 65

 

Facts and figures and exploding myths to support the case still further:

Equality law 

Ensuring your company or organisation complies with the equalities law is imperative. By using eQuality Recruitment, you will be taking the right steps to help ensure you are protected against discrimination practice in the recruitment process.

In order to fully understand the complexities of the law and to make sure you are compliant, we have put together a comprehensive list,  provided by ACAS, that sets out the equalities law below.

EQUALITY ACT 2010

Equality Information:

This information is provided by "acas" (www.acas.org.uk)

UK Statistical Data

This page is part of our Age Research archive so the information is out of date and some of the links might not work. We are currently updating our research and will replace the information on this page in due course.

Overview of UK Statistical Data

Employment

    66.1% of 50-64 year olds are currently in employment, (August 2012)

    This is up 1.1 percentage points from the same time last year  9% of over 65s are in employment, up 0.2 percentage points on last year, (August 2012)

    However, the number over 65s classified as unemployed has risen to 2.1% from 2% last year, (August 2012)

    In 2010, 25.85% of the UK’s workforce was made up of over 50s
 

Unemployment

    Whilst only 4.9% of 50-64 year olds are classified as being unemployed, a further 30.6% are currently out of work, (August 2012)

    This is up from 4.5% in 2010

    And much higher than in 2008 when the unemployment rate for over 50s was only 3.6%

    44.2% of unemployed over 50s have been looking for work for over 12 months

    This is higher than for any other age catergory

    The rate of unemployed over 50s for men is slightly higher than for women, 5.6% compared to 3.1%

 

Redundancy

    In 2010, 26.53% of the UK’s redundancies have been aged over 50

    This is at its highest point in the last 10 years

    And up 4.17% from last year

    The redundancy rate in the public sector was much higher than the national average, with 66% of all redundancies in County councils and 57% of redundancies in London Borough councils being over 50.

 

Over and Under Employment

    Half of all workers in the UK say they would like more or less work, with 9.8 million wanting less and 3.5 million wanting more

    17.3% of 50-64 year olds in part time employment want more work. Men are more keen on this than women, with 22.4% of 50-64 year old men in part time employment wanting more work, compared to 15.2% of women

    4.1% of 50-64 year olds in full time employment say they want more work. Again, men are more keen on this, with 6.1% want more work, compared to 5.1% of women

    6.9% of 50-64 year olds in part time employment want less work. When broken down by gender 4.9% of 50-64 year old women want less work, compared to 6.1% of men

    16.5% of 50-64 year olds, 15.4% of men and 18.6% of women, in full time employment want less work

 

Reemployment

    In 2010, 16.59% of over 50s found reemployment

    This is up 0.21% on the previous year

    However, this increase is significantly lower than the increase in jobs vacancies between 2009-2010, 3.75%

    Currently, reemployment for over 50s is down 5.67% from its highest point in the last 10 years, (2004)

    61% of people would work beyond 65 if offered flexible working arrangements

 

Sickness/Absence

    50-64 and 64+ years olds are absent less often than their younger counterparts, absence rate of 2.4% and 1.9% respectively, compare to the national average of 2.5%.

    16-24 and 25-34 year olds take the most time off, with an absence rate of 2.6% for both categories

 

Pay

    50-59 year olds earn on average less per year than 30-39 and 40-49 year olds; £28,356 compared to £29,004 and £30,443 respectively.5

    Over 60s earn on average £20,895 per year

 

Discrimination

    The number of age discrimination cases brought to tribunal has risen by a third in the past year

    However, this is only 2% of the total age discrimination claims made

    The average payout was £5,868.

    The largest payout was £48,710. This is significantly less than for other types of discrimination; disability (£729,347), sex (£442,366), race (£374,922) and sexual orientation (£163,725).

Subcategories

These figures are for Employment, Unemployment and Economic Inactivity among older working age people (50+) and over 65s.

The data is from the Office of National Statistics Labour Market report.