Government survey finds that age discrimination is “rooted in British society”… A new study by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has found that age discrimination is “rooted in British society”.
The report entitled “Attitude to Age in Britain” states that negative attitudes towards older citizens have damaging consequences for the economy as a whole with resulting “lost productivity of older workers and long term health costs of those excluded from economic activity”.
The DWP conducted their survey of 2,200 people of all ages and their findings reveal that age-related discrimination is not something that only affects the elderly.
One third of those interviewed said that they had experienced at least one incident where they perceived age-based prejudice in the last year with those under the age of 25 observing prejudice against them twice as much as other age groups.
The study also focused on how attitudes towards groups in their 20’s compared with those aged 70 and over with the study data showing that attitudes towards those in the older age group were overall far more positive as they were considered “more friendly, having higher moral standards and as being more competent than people in their 20s”.
The survey also asked respondents about their attitudes towards their boss with just 5% claiming that working for a 30-year-old boss would be acceptable versus 15% who would object to having a 70-year-old boss, three times as many.
The research also highlighted that people in their 40s were generally regarded as having the highest status. Another discovery of the survey was that on average those interviewed thought that “youth” ended at 41 and that “old age” began at 59.
Pensions minister Steve Webb said that attitudes towards ageing should change: “People today are living longer, working longer and contributing more in their later lives. This is great news and it is important that our perceptions of age keep up with the reality of our increasing longevity.”