Age is a widely accepted and often unspoken form of “discrimination” in the workplace. While “age discrimination” is often associated with older generations, discrimination can happen to people of any age. Anyone, young or old, can experience discrimination.

Discovering the Issues of Ageism at the Workplace

Finding a job can become a big problem for those over 50 and 60, as well as for those aged between 30 and 35 in job postings. People who hold leading positions in their profession based on experience, knowledge, and skills, and who are still young enough to run businesses and have many years left before retirement, get stuck with age restrictions in job postings.

Moreover, even if they are willing to serve physically and mentally and are ready to work for many more years, the number of those who remain unemployed when they are most productive and experienced is increasing.

Those who have children who have not finished their studies, and those who have no savings and pension, ask: “How do I survive? Do our skills disappear when we turn 40?” At this age, people still need to work. Age discrimination has grown both in the workplace and in the hiring process during the pandemic. The number of people who do not change jobs, despite dissatisfaction, due to the fear of getting stuck in the age bracket is also growing.

Global population growth is slowing down, and the world is rapidly aging. Experts say that the planet’s population will not decrease rapidly, but the birth rate will gradually decrease. Since population reduction also leads to a decrease in the workforce, this becomes a serious problem for the economy. The aging of the population may change the prospects of those who are excluded from work, regardless of their age.

What Does the Law Say in Different Counties?

Age restrictions in job postings cause discrimination and raise questions about the ethics of such practices. In many countries around the world, “age discrimination” is prohibited by law. The USA, Australia, Ireland, and the UK have laws that protect workers from discrimination based on age.

The Australian “Age Discrimination Act” prohibits discrimination in employment against both younger and older workers. It opposes age discrimination in the hiring and selection processes, as well as when making decisions about education, transfer, and promotion.

Basically, you’re breaking the law if you reject to hire certain people because they do not fit in with other workers due to their age, not hire young people assuming they will quickly move on to another job, or post job ads with phrases such as “If you are under 30, if you want to be part of a dynamic and young team.” The law also deems it wrong to fire someone or force them to retire due to age or persecute people because of their age.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was passed in 1967 and protects workers over 40 years old. The law requires employers to make hiring, firing, or promotion decisions based on age. It also prohibits persecuting an older employee due to their age, reducing social benefits provided to older workers, and applying other practices compared to other workers. The law applies to companies with 20 or more employees.

According to the Equality Act 2010 in England, Scotland, and Wales, age discrimination in the workplace is illegal. Protection against age discrimination is ensured during job application, hiring, training, promotion, behavior of employers or colleagues, and dismissal. Employees can file an official complaint against their employer. In case of failure, they can file a lawsuit in labor court.

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