Three-quarters of Brits say age discrimination is common in their workplace

A staggering 70.8 per cent of UK workers reveal discrimination around age is common in their workplace.

A staggering 70.8 per cent of UK workers reveal discrimination around age is common in their workplace, rising to 85.3 per cent amongst those aged 55-64. That’s according to the latest piece of research from CV-Library.

The study asked 1,400 UK workers to open up about the topic of discrimination in the workplace, particularly when it comes to age. It finds one third (30 per cent) of professionals have been turned down for a job because of their age, rising to 52.5 per cent amongst those aged 55-64 and 65.1 per cent amongst under 18s. Other key findings include:

More than half (57.1 per cent) of under 18s feel they’re not taken seriously at work , because of their age, with a further 76 per cent of 25-34 year olds stating that they have been discriminated against at work because they were considered ‘too young’. Eighty-nine per cent of 45-54 year olds said they have been discriminated against at work for being ‘too old’.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library , comments, ‘Diversity is a hot topic at the moment, and it is something that should be celebrated in the workplace. Sadly, there is clearly still a great amount of discrimination amongst those considered to be ‘too old’ or ‘too young’ to work in certain positions. As a nation, we need to address this issue head on, and consider ways in which we can remove these stigmas.’

Of those that said they were considered to be ‘too young’ for a job, nearly half (46.7%) said they were told they didn’t have enough experience. In addition to this, 35.8% said the employer felt no-one would take them seriously. Conversely, for those considered to be ‘too old’, one in five (20.2%) were told that they would be too stuck in their own ways.

Biggins continues, ‘It’s clear that discrimination around age is not only rife in workplaces, but also during the hiring process. But, while employers may think their pickiness will secure them the very best workers, they’re actually limiting themselves even further. Younger, and older, workers are a key part of driving our economy forward and companies should embrace a diverse range of employees in their business.’

Alongside this, the study encouraged respondents to share their stories of age discrimination in the workplace:

1. ‘I have been told that I was too old to retrain for a career change in my company.’ – Jessica from Leeds

2. ‘I was told by a career advisor that I should remove the number ‘70’ from my email address because people might think I was born in 1970 and would consequently not consider me.’ Liam from Bristol

3. ‘I am the oldest amongst my colleagues (who are aged between 18 and 30) and I’m seen as the ‘mum’ of the store and not really taken seriously.’ Tricia from Portsmouth

4. ‘I interviewed really well for a position but was told that because I was a middle-aged woman I was too set in my ways and may find it difficult to learn new things.’ Lindsey from Bournemouth

5. ‘I work as a carer which is quite heavy going – some of my younger co-workers often offer to do things for me with good intentions but it makes me feel useless at times.’ Cheryl from Nottingham

6. ‘I look much younger than I actually am and I feel my employer doesn’t take me seriously at times.’ Andy from Lytham St Anne’s

7. ‘Senior management don’t seem to take on board suggestions from myself or my younger colleagues but will listen and implement them once someone older has suggested the same thing.’ Paul from Brighton

8. ‘I worked in a retail store for my first job and if I ever took a sick day, (which is very rare for me), it was assumed that I was using the time to go out with friends and get drunk, which was definitely not the case!’ Micky from London

9. ‘Despite being a recent graduate, because I was a mature student I’m not getting offered the same amount of jobs that younger people on my course are.’ Jeremy from Woking

10. ‘My boss was compiling the rota for New Year’s Eve and he said I had to work because the younger staff will want to go out partying – I wanted to party too!’ Lisa from Cardiff

Further reading on age discrimination

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

Related Topics


Leave a comment