Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Age the biggest hiring barrier, survey finds

with 2 comments

Age the biggest hiring barrier, survey finds
Britain has just introduced stiff legislation dealing with this issue. It is going to be a long haul to get this concern dealt with seriously here. For one thing, it is almost impossible to prove. In the job application scenario, for example, the vast majority of resumes go into the trash, so how do you establish that age discrimination is at play? One job adviser seriously suggested leaving out dates on job applications. That gets you dropped automatically, I would have thought, on the grounds that the applicant must have something to hide. “Over qualified” is the most common excuse, which is code for “we can get someone younger and cheaper”. Even once you become willing to take much less than you are worth, you don’t usually get much further than a polite telephone call – if you are lucky. Even places which bitch and complain amongst themselves about the difficulty of getting good staff have a hard time accepting that someone over 55 can actually be a useful employee. And most job adverts say that only the successful will get a reply and ask for no phone calls. So there is no way that they are going to discuss with the unsuccessful why they were not considered.

The odd thing is that many employers will use fear of being sued as the reason. But the law is only open to those that can afford it. There is no point at all having an open and shut case. The employer has more resources than the plaintiff and can keep a case going with a wide range of tactics to exhaust the resources of their opponents. And legal aid has been effectively shut off for civil suits, the human rights commission being a shadow of its former self.

For many people in this province “full employment” rings hollow. They want a permanent full time position with benefits. They are forced by market conditions to take part time, low paid, no benefit positions and often work at multiple jobs just to make ends meet. Not to mention those who become “contractors” or “consultants” – paid by the task and not well at that in most cases, with absolutely zero job security. And often they are skilled and qualified people, kept in these positions by restrictive practices in the self regulated professions and unionised environments.

Written by Stephen Rees

October 24, 2006 at 9:28 am

Posted in Age discrimination

2 Responses

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  1. Amen! And then if you have goals of continuing the search for the job that fits your qualifications you are fussy, and it is very difficult to look for a job when you are working three crappy ones just to get by.

    Colette Amelia

    August 4, 2007 at 7:13 pm

  2. It’s worse than that! The older you get, and the more interesting and varied work life you have had, the longer that section gets where they want you to list all your employment and explain every time of unemployment you’ve had since leaving school. Then, at the same time, they want you to fit all that on a one-page CV!


    January 28, 2009 at 2:02 pm

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