Almost a third of Australians perceived some form of age-related discrimination while employed or looking for work in the last 12 months - starting as early as 45 years of age, our study finds.
We conducted a national survey of 2100 men and women aged 45 years and over, and 100 telephone interviews. The most common form of perceived discrimination was negative assumptions about older workers’ skills, learning abilities or cognition.
Older adults in the study described a subtle pressure from their colleagues and management to stop working in order to “make room for the younger generation”.
Survey participants also reported limited or no opportunities for promotion or training, working in an organisation that undervalued them and difficulty securing work due to age.
Our findings align with previous research from the Australian Human Rights Commission where 27 per cent of Australians aged 50 years and over had recent experience of age-based discrimination in the workplace. In this survey the most common forms were limited employment, promotion or training opportunities and perceptions that older people have outdated skills or are too slow to learn new things.
Older adults in our study described a subtle pressure from their colleagues and management to stop working in order to “make room for the younger generation”. This was regardless of their experience, enduring capabilities or working preferences.
Workers also faced patronising attitudes, where employers or colleagues assumed they would struggle to pick up new technology or work systems quickly, due to their age. Some survey participants felt they were not afforded the same promotional or training opportunities as their younger colleagues.
Read more at http://www.smh.com.au/comment/age-discrimination-at-work-now-happening-to-people-as-young-as-45-20170427-gvtg13.html