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Age discrimination should be “consigned to the past”, says recruitment industry

Lorna Davidson, CEO of RedWigWam, and Neil Carberry, CEO of the REC, have responded to the findings of a Government report into age discrimination in the workplace.

The report said the talents of more than a million people aged over 50 who want to work were being wasted because of “discrimination, bias and outdated employment practices”.

It also said Government ministers and Britain’s equalities watchdog must be clearer that prejudice, unconscious bias and casual ageism in the workplace were all unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.

Davidson said, “Age discrimination should be consigned to the past.

“At RedWigWam we’re against any kind of discrimination, so I support the findings of the report. It’s our policy to treat everyone fairly, regardless of their age, gender, race or sexuality.

“Many of our workers have retired from full-time permanent employment, and they come to us because they want to continue working but in flexible, temporary roles that fit in with their post-retirement lives.”

Carberry commented, “As the professional body for the recruitment sector the REC is taking a lead on promoting inclusive workplaces. Our joint guide to hiring with Age UK, Good Recruitment campaign and professional standards are all evidence of the sector’s commitment to improving its performance and that of hirers.

“As well as being the right thing to do, candidate shortages across the UK mean old-fashioned and discriminatory attitudes make no business sense. Our prospects for growth and prosperity are damaged if any group of people are denied opportunities to work because of who they are. 

“Recruiters are uniquely placed to guide employers on how to attract and retain talent, as well as offer support to a diverse range of candidates.”

The report, published this week by the Women and Equalities Committee, said the Government and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) were failing to enforce the law on age discrimination.

The panel of MPs called for the Government to work with the EHRC to agree specific enforcement actions across both the public and private sectors.

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