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Planning Retirement Online

Age of discrimination

April 2017

age discrimination

Discrimination for our age group is alive and well, according to a new survey.

Millions of over-50s have suffered age discrimination not only at work, but in shops and even in their local GP's surgery, a study has found.

​Since turning 50, almost four in ten said they experienced age discrimination.

Older people still in work or looking for work have a particular problem… 62 per cent of those believe they have lost out on a job because of their age.

The survey, involving over 2,000 over 50 year olds, was held by over-50s insurance experts SunLife.

The study found that the workplace is the likeliest scene of age discrimination…one person in the survey said she had asked to be put​ on a course only to be told by her employer they would rather give it to someone younger to get ‘better value’.

But the study also found age discrimination was being experienced in everyday life, particularly in shops, while driving, in bars and restaurants and on public transport.

50 per cent of older people who took part in the survey said they feel ignored by shop staff and three in ten think their GP treats them differently.
One in twenty said they has been approached and even asked if they are lost when looking at clothes not necessarily aimed at older people.

Almost one in four has been ignored while waiting or queuing for something, a third have been spoken to unnecessarily slowly and around one in six have been called a nickname such as grandma or old man.

One in twenty has even had someone communicate to them through a younger person they are with rather than directly.

SunLife marketing director Ian Atkinson said:  “Age discrimination is still a real challenge facing many people over 50 because of outdated stereotypes and ignorance, but in reality, many are far from this pre-conceived idea some areas of society still seem to have of them.

“It’s also surprising, in a way, that we discriminate against a group we all hope we’ll one day join.
“50 is definitely not ‘old’, and with life expectancy - and retirement age - rising year on year, life after 50 certainly doesn’t mean the need to slow down or ‘take it easy’ – and more brands and businesses need to realise that.

"Far from winding down, people over 50 are busier than ever, trying new things or taking up new hobbies and just generally living life to the full. But they feel discriminated against and stereotyped.”

Sunlife’s study also found that as well as experiencing age discrimination themselves, almost a third believe they have witnessed someone else being subjected to it.

The study identified the top five places for age discrimination are:

1.     In the work place
2.     While out shopping
3.     While driving
4.     While eating out at pubs, restaurants and bars
5.     On public transport



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