With increase in the legal retirement age, people in their 50s should not be discriminated for age in the employment field, according to Gina Le Prevost, founder and CEO of AP Executive.
Gina Le Prevost CEO of AP Executive says: ‘The days of people in their 50s being discriminated because of their age should now be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, a lot of employers still consider people in their 50s to be approaching retirement. Instead, this is no longer the case since the legal retirement age is increasing, and I am sure will soon rise to 70 years plus.”
“People are living longer and most people are starting their first career in their late 20s or even early 30s – therefore on the ‘age barometer’ from 30 years to 70 years, people in their 50s come in the middle of the gauge and no longer at the end.”
This view builds on earlier research that provides evidence for the benefits of older workers. A recent UK Gov report suggests that people up to the age of 70 can be as productive as their younger counterparts and emphasises the importance of a mixed-age workforce. Similarly, research (Network for Studies on Pensions, Ageing and Retirement, 2009) shows people aged 55-64 have “positive” effects on younger staff.
Moreover, according to a recent survey (YouGov survey, UK Gov) retirement pattern is changing, with nearly half of over-50s willing to work between age of 65 and 70.
However, things have not changed much for the over-50s after being rendered redundant since the downturn of 2008. Although age- related discrimination is illegal, experts believe this is highly pervasive in workplace. In fact, this discriminatory attitude has negative effects on the self-esteem and confidence of jobseekers.
Gina says: “Some candidates I speak to in their 50s usually talk themselves down because they have been discriminated for their age for so long that even they now believe they are too old to find work.”
She warns: “This thought process needs to change and some employers need to rethink their hiring process.”
“Often, I have to reassure the candidates in their 50s that they must not fall into the trap just because 50 year olds have been classed in the past as being nearing retirement. They appreciate my positive approach, and it inspires them to realise that actually they do have up to 20 years left in the workplace until retirement – this is a lot of years and a lot can be achieved.”
The increase in retirement age and benefits of more age diverse workforce, calls for “the 50s to be now considered as the new 40s or even 30s”.
AP Executive is a global recruitment consultancy and has 25 years of experience in specialist recruitment.