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Following on from the recent tribunal where a 20 year old woman won the case against her former employer who dismissed her for being too young, a snapshot survey from office support recruiter la crème has confirmed that prejudice in the workplace due to age does indeed affect the young as well as the old.

La crème conducted a snapshot survey of office personnel all in their twenties about whether they had faced any kind of age discrimination in the workplace. Out of 135 respondents, 81 (60%) answered that yes, they had experienced unfair treatment because of their youth. “I don’t know why everyone just assumes that ageism only affects older people” says one PA. “My boss believes that I don’t understand the business because I’m not mature enough. Just because I haven’t got twenty years of experience, it doesn’t mean I’m ignorant! He overlooks the good things that I bring to the company.” A 23 year old secretary said “I didn’t get a promotion recently because the supervisory role needed someone older, even though I was more than qualified to do the job. It’s clear discrimination!”

Tony Bourne, Partner and Head of the Employment Unit at Glovers Solicitors, says that it’s these attitudes that could catch some people out. “This has been the biggest change in employment law since the Sex Discrimination Act in so much as it affects every single employee and potential employee. Much of the media coverage so far has centred on discrimination against ‘older’ employees, but as this recent case shows, discrimination on the basis of age – whether that’s 16 or 60 – is illegal.”

Commenting on the survey Jo Stuteley, UK Director of la crème said: “Many people don’t realise that age discrimination affects the younger members of the workforce as well as the older ones. The young seem to be especially affected within the organisation rather than at the application stage, whereas for older employees it seems to be the other way around. We in the recruitment industry are working towards dismissing the negative assumptions connected with age and highlighting the advantages that each individual can bring to a business.”

Sam Woodward
BlueSky PR
Tel: 0845 130 8290

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