The Women and Equalities Committee has produced a report on older people in the workplace and their access to the job market. There are about 1 million workers over 50 who are out of work but want to work and who face barriers and discrimination.
The Committee claims the government isn’t doing enough to tackle age discrimination. This results in the skills and experience of older workers going to waste. The report suggests that there are changes that all employers should be making. Older workers often manage heath conditions or juggle employment with other caring responsibilities. Some want to work less in the years before retirement. The Committee advocates flexible working in all jobs as a default position. They also recommend 5 days’ paid carers leave per year and longer period of unpaid leave to stop older workers falling out of the job market.
This is rather challenging as well as potentially costly for small and medium businesses. The Committee recognises this. It suggests that the government set up a mentoring system for business who might struggle to adapt due to size or resources.
The Committee also recommends:
- Action is taken to tackle age discrimination in recruitment and identify sectors with the worst track record;
- Help is given to support more claims of age discrimination in employment;
- The government research the impact of discrimination on older women, black and minority ethnic and disabled workers;
- Introducing paid and unpaid carers’ leave.
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