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      Millions of over-50s have experienced age discrimination at work

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      New research by insurance expert SunLife shows millions of over-50s experience age discrimination in a number of places, including shops, their local GP’s office and even work.

      Nearly four in 10 survey respondents said they’d experienced age discrimination since turning 50. Shockingly, 62% said they believe they’ve lost a job due to their age, while one participant said they’d been told by a recruitment agency that they’d be ‘difficult to place’ because they were over 50. Another said they asked their employer for training and was denied the opportunity because their boss ‘would rather give it to someone younger to get better value’ for their money.

      Nearly half of over-50s said they’ve been overlooked for a promotion, with workplaces being the most likely scene of age discrimination. 50% feel ignored by shop staff and three in 10 think their GP treats them differently than younger patients.

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Director Ian Atkinson commented: “Age discrimination is still a real challenge facing many people over 50 because of outdated stereotypes and ignorance, but in reality, many are far from this pre-conceived idea some areas of society still seem to have of them.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

      As well as experiencing age discrimination themselves, almost a third said they have witnessed it happening to someone else. After turning 50, 11% commented that they feel isolated or left out of team-building activities, social events and work meetings, while one in 10 have received negative remarks about their age from a colleague. One in 20 said they felt they were encouraged or forced to retire.

      Atkinson continued: “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.”

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      AUTHOR

      Molly Dyson

      Former Editor – PA Life

      All stories by: Molly Dyson