Wake-up call to firms as ageism cost soarsOn 1 May 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. The failure to tackle ageism is costing the UK economy £31bn a year,according to a report commissioned by the Employers Forum on Age last week. The report, Ageism Too Costly to Ignore, found that the cost of ageism hasrisen by £5bn since 1998. RayBaker, chair of the EFA and B&Q’s employment and diversity controller,warns that the report sounded a clear wake-up call for employers and thegovernment. He said, “This is another reason to ensure that ageism isn’tover-looked by employers.” The report reveals that in the past two years the number of people aged50-64 who are not in work and are not seeking work has grown by 125,000. The EFA is urging the Government to introduce a flexible retirement policyas pension regulations prevent workers older than 65 drawing a pension and asalary at the same time. The report claims that by introducing flexible retirement policies, GDPcould be raised by at least £50bn a year. Baker added, “It’s vital that we have flexible retirement policies inplace to allow people to continue working well past 65. Many older workers needemployment because of financial necessity. A report of our older workers in theearly 1990s found that 56 per cent still had dependents.” Other recommendations in the report include raising employers’ awareness ofthe business benefits of older workers and the need for the Government to playa part in increasing the employability of these workers by investing in theirskills. “Lifelong learning must be part of the business agenda,” saidBaker. By 2025 for every two people employed there is likely to be one person olderthan 50 who is either retired or inactive. By Karen Higginbottom Comments are closed.