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Danger-ageism at work in later life



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Laterlife joins  the government’s Age Positive Campaign tackling ageism in the workplace

There is a commonly assumed view that ageism affects only a small minority of older people in the UK. The popular television character Victor Meldrew from One Foot in the Grave perfectly captures the stereotype of a grumbling man in later life, stuck in his ways, resistant to change, baffled by technology and distanced from the views and activities of young people.


Yet, when examining the issue of ageism, it becomes clear that as with all stereotypes this image is flawed. 

  • Ageism affects a wide age group, of both genders and all backgrounds. 
  • According to a MORI Social Research Institute poll, ageism tops the list of UK discrimination in the workplace.
  • Over one in five people (22%) interviewed by MORI felt they had been unfairly discriminated against in the work environment.
  • 38 per cent of those who were discriminated against cited age as the most prevalent form of discrimination.

  • Of those who believed they had personally encountered ageism in the workplace, just over half said they were discriminated against because they were too old, however the remaining half claimed to have received unfair treatment for being too young.  

  • Estimated cost to the economy of this form of discrimination ranges from 16 billion to 31 billion. These figures are shocking but statistics alone cannot account for the social or personal impact that ageism has on individuals and society at large. 

  • The government Age Positive Campaign is insistent that attitudes must change. By 2010 nearly 40 per cent of the working population will be over 45. Supporting this cultural shift, legislation preventing ageism in the workplace will be in place in the UK by 2006. But what the government really wants is change here and now. 

  • More and more employers in the public and private sector are convinced by the business case of employing a mixed age workforce. They know that Age Positive can result in operational, market and revenue gains. Mixed age workforces are proven to provide employers with a wider available skills base, improved productivity, better morale, increased customer loyalty, greater market share and increased shareholder wealth. 

That’s why we at support the Age Positive Campaign. The majority of our writers and site staff are 50-plus, reflecting the interests and issues of later life.   If you work for an organisation that reflects the Campaign’s aims, let us know by emailing:

For further information

Visit, for latest developments on the issue of age discrimination in employment.

Alternatively Request a Code of Practice. This is the Department for Work and Pensions’ voluntary Code of Practice on Age Diversity in Employment, which gives practical help and advice on the issue of age discrimination. This can be viewed on the Age Positive website or ordered by calling 08457 330 360.  



laterlife interest

The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

It includes both one off articles and also regular columns of a more specialist nature such as healthwise, reports from the REACH files, and a beauty section called looking good in later life.

Also don't forget to take a look at our regular IT question and answer section called YoucandoIT by IT trainer and author Jackie Sherman.

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