Essay: The argument against age discrimination

There is another quiet revolution taking place within western workplaces. It is the next great frontier. The arguments against age discrimination are beginning to be won by the realities of the changing nature of the population. Demographics dictate that the workforce in developed nations will get older.

Research indicates that this is actually a good thing for employers – there are many benefits to be had from employing older workers, and in the UK retail giant ASDA, telecommunications market-leaders BT and in the public sector the National Maritime Museum are among employers reaping the benefits. In the UK projections based upon National Office of Statistics figures indicate that, by 2013, there will be more people over the age of 65 than there are under the age of 16. In the UK, estimates for age discrimination costing the economy are £31 billion. Perhaps the most telling projection of all is that, by 2020, a quarter of the workforce will be over 50, rising from 20 percent in 1990. Far from being a problem for opinion leaders, it is an opportunity.

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