Tackling Ageism in the Workplace

Tackling Ageism in the Workplace – Equal Opportunities Recruitment from Prestige

Ageism is having a big impact on the UK workplace.

Despite long standing laws designed to prevent discrimination against people based on their age, and significant efforts from the government, UK businesses and the recruitment industry to tackle discrimination in the workplace – there are still some serious issues with ageism.

According to a new (July 2018) report from the Government’s Women and Equalities Committee, more than 1 million people in the UK over the age of 50 are locked out of work – they are willing to work, but unable to find employment.

The report suggested a range of measures designed to tackle ageism in the workplace, including some to be enacted by the recruitment industry. In this post, we explore the report, looking at the findings, and letting you know what we’re doing at prestige to support older jobseekers.

The Report – Findings and Suggestions


The report made some important findings with regards the ageism in the workplace and amongst UK jobseekers, in terms of:

  • Cultural ageism – where older workers are expected to give up their jobs or move on to make way for younger workers.
  • Age stereotypes – about the ability of older workers to perform, their willingness to work, and assumptions about them wanting to retire. It found old people were summarily grouped together.
  • Discrimination in recruitment – where job adverts are aimed at younger workers in terms of the language and job description, and older workers are blocked out.
  • Low numbers of age discrimination cases – with disproportionally low levels of age discrimination claims going through the courts.
  • Redundancy bias – where older workers were disproportionately selected in redundancy programmes.
  • Difficulty in job seeking – where older workers, and especially those past retirement age are discriminated against by recruitment agencies and the job centre.


  • Increased data transparency – mandatory regulations that require larger employers to publish data on the age profile of their workforce
  • Better policies and practices – introducing more age friendly employment practices and policies in organisations of all sizes.
  • A better national skills strategy – recognising the aging nature of the population, and providing better access to lifelong training for older workers.
  • A mid-life MOT – increased access to career advice and more extensive support seeking employment for the over 50s.
  • Better support for small firms – helping them to support the aging workforce.
  • Better enforcement of the laws – including increased action from The Equality and Human Rights Commission.
  • Flexible working – designed to meet the needs of an aging workforce.

You can read the report in full here - https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmwomeq/359/359.pdf

Fairer recruitment

One of the key findings of the report was that the recruitment industry could do more to support older workers. It found that many job adverts were targeted towards younger candidates, in terms of both the person spec, and the language used to describe the role. Words like ‘young’, ‘dynamic’, ‘energetic’, ‘forward thinking’ and ‘graduate’ all served to limit the potential for older people to apply for roles.

On the back of this, some MPs have called on recruitment agencies to collect more age data, to see where older workers are being excluded.

Committed to Equality

At Prestige, we’re resolutely committed to tackling ageism in our workplace, and through our recruitment services. When it comes to our clients, we ensure that all the businesses we recruit for share our values, and provide equal access to opportunities for candidates of all ages.

In terms of our own business, we are an equal opportunities employer. Prestige is home to people from a diverse range of backgrounds, and we welcome everyone, regardless of age, race, gender, identity, background or belief.

Providing a personalised service to every jobseeker, we provide honest support and advice – helping older workers to find the right roles at organisations that will respect them, and providing them with the right support and opportunities they want.

Where older candidates are lacking skills, we provide signposting to relevant, up to date training designed to arm them with the skills and qualifications required to help them achieve their career goals.

Quality recruitment support from Prestige

At Prestige, we’re 100% committed to creating and promoting safe, positive and fair working environments for the benefit of our candidates and clients alike – offering an ethical, professional service that protects everyone.

Come to Prestige as a client or as a candidate, and you will be treated in the same way, regardless of your age, gender, religion, background, orientation or beliefs. You will benefit from fair, honest and respectful support, from an experienced, friendly and professional team that’s there to help.

Additional information about the way we work, our industry accreditations, awards and association memberships can be found at https://www.prestige-recruitment.com/about-us. Alternatively, for more about how we can help your organisation source the right talent your business needs – please get in touch with your local office today.


Posted: Wed 12 Sep 2018
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