In its latest survey issued ahead of the 3rd Equality Summit which took place on 16-17 November in Stockholm, Eurobarometer findings indicate an increased risk of age discrimination in employment and suggest that the economic crisis is having a particularly negative impact on the discrimination experience by older workers.
According to this new Eurobarometer survey - which tracks how perceptions of discrimination have changed since 2008 - 48% of Europeans considered age to be a disadvantage when seeking employment. This percentage has increased by 3% since the last survey was conducted in early 2008. More generally, opinions on the extent of discrimination on the ground of age have changed greatly over the course of just one year. While in 2008, the majority of Europeans surveyed perceived age discrimination to be quite rare (52%), the majority now consider it to be widespread (58%) compared to 37% who regard it as being rare. Furthermore, analysis of the survey reveals that it is people aged 40 plus who are more likely to say that discrimination on the ground of age is widespread.
This negative perception regarding age discrimination found particularly strong expression in views about discrimination in the labour market. There is a strong link between the economic crisis and the increased perception of age discrimination with 64% of respondents indicating that the economic crisis will contribute to an increase in discrimination on the ground of age in the labour market.
Furthermore, with respect to last year’s figures, age is becoming the most common perceived disadvantage when seeking a job. This reflects the reality that is faced by many older workers, and in particular older women, who are among those most affected by the crisis and are one of the groups most likely to lose their job as a result of the crisis and to be unable to find new employment when the recession will be over. As you know, AGE has developed a number of recommendations which our members consider would be effective in mitigating the negative impact of the present crisis on older workers. These include the mainstreaming of intergenerational solidarity and cooperation within the employment context and the implementation of initiatives promoting longer working lives such as a ban on mandatory retirement ages and the promotion of job sharing, mentorship and phased retirement.
The link to the Eurobarometer survey is available here
For more details, please contact Rachel Buchanan, Policy Officer for Non-discrimination and Employment, at