A business champion has called for recruiters to “realise the potential of older workers” or face an industry-wide crackdown on discrimination.
Among her recommendations to the Government in her report ‘A New Vision for Older Workers: Retain, Retrain, Recruit’, Dr Ros Altmann CBE warned an Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) investigation may be “ultimately required” if voluntary attempts led by the recruitment industry fail.
Tackling suggestions that keeping more over-50s in the workforce take jobs from the young, she said: “This so-called ‘lump of labour fallacy’ has been roundly discredited by academic studies, but still colours people’s views.”
Her wide-reaching recommendations called for a Government-led mission against age discrimination – imposing penalties for those who break the law.
Canning road signs depicting older people as a safety hazard and a challenge to employ older media presenters – especially female – also featured on the list.
“The recruitment industry, in which I have found extensive anecdotal evidence of discrimination against older applicants, needs to look at ways to drive better adherence to voluntary Codes of Practice,” Altmann concluded.
“If this voluntary, industry-led approach does not work, it may be that an EHRC investigation of the recruitment industry is ultimately required. The recruitment industry needs to raise its standards to ensure compliance with the law.”
Read the full report here.