The workplace after 50 – practical advice to avoid age discrimination

With the retirement age set to rise, it would appear as though UK workers will be spending longer than ever in their careers.

Whilst there is legislation in place to protect workers from any discrimination based on age, Jobsite have uncovered some worrying facts about what life is really like in the job market for older candidates.

A recent survey of over 17,000 candidates showed:

  • Job seekers aged 55-64 are twice as likely to be looking for a job due to redundancy, than their younger counterparts.
  • 55-64 are the age group most likely to out of work for over two years.
  • Almost half (47%) of candidates in this age group are unemployed, 13% more than younger candidates. 

What’s going wrong?

Research found redundancies were disproportionately affecting those aged over 55, giving job searches increased urgency. Older candidates were found to be 15% more likely to be searching for jobs several times a day and are 50% more likely to take over a year to secure a new position.

Difficulties continue throughout the process. Digging deeper, Jobsite discovered that the worst part of the job search for older candidates is the lack of feedback (66%), with 53% even claiming they never or rarely received any feedback following their applications.

The gap in expectations

Whilst perceived higher wage bills could be a factor in disqualifying older candidates, in actual fact the study showed the 55-64 age group were considerably less likely to be seeking more money (-29%) and career progression (-67%) from their next role, compared the average jobseeker. This means more experienced candidates could be disqualified for roles they might otherwise have considered.

Meanwhile, the over 50 age group were more likely than younger groups to be looking for jobs closer to home (+15%) or which offered the chance to work remotely (+30%) or flexibly (+30%) – benefits which could be more difficult to find.

What should older workers know?

The results of this study have prompted Jobsite to partner with industry experts to produce a definitive guide to navigating the job market for older candidates. The guide aims to address the troubles faced by older candidates during their job search and includes practical advice on what they can do to overcome age discrimination.

Download ‘The UK’s untapped resource – a guide to age and the workplace’ today.