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Quarter of 60-somethings feel treated differently to younger workers, study says

Published 15/10/2016

Some workers in their 60s feel they get the 'worst jobs' to sort out, a study says
Some workers in their 60s feel they get the 'worst jobs' to sort out, a study says

More than one in four people in their 60s who are still working feel they are treated differently to their younger colleagues, a survey has found.

Some 27% of working 60-somethings feel they are not treated the same as others in the workplace, Nationwide Building Society found.

Asked to describe how they felt they had been treated differently, the replies included ageism, being given the "worst jobs" to sort out, feeling their opinions were not respected, feeling bullied, feeling ignored as they neared retirement, being expected to be more reliable due to not having childcare commitments, and younger people being promoted over them.

One older worker said they feel "like part of the wallpaper", while younger colleagues are given better opportunities to progress their careers.

One worker felt their male boss favoured younger female workers, while another said younger workers with children to look after were given priority when booking holidays.

Someone else said they were not invited to certain work functions, while another employee claimed younger workers took more time off sick than older staff.

Another worker said: "They think because you are older you have not got a brain."

But some 60-something employees felt they were treated better, with one saying: " I give my all for any activity that I do, and I generally find that I get additional support if and when required."

Another told the survey: "I am treated with a little more respect and trust."

A lack of flexibility around working is also a concern for people in this age group, the survey found.

Only 13% feel their employer gives them enough flexibility to look after grandchildren and only 11% feel they have enough flexibility to care for a relative.

Less than half (46%) of working 60-somethings feel they are usually given enough flexibility to attend medical appointments.

Nationwide surveyed 1,800 60 to 69-year-olds, of whom around 30% were still employed, working 29 hours per week on average.

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, Nationwide's head of savings and mortgage policy, said: "The 60s is one of the most varied age groups as for many it covers the transition from employment and retirement.

"At a time when some would like life to start slowing down, our latest life-stages survey shows that this may actually be far from the truth. In fact, it appears that for many the hamster wheel is turning just as fast."

Across the survey, 60-somethings have an average £338 per month in disposable income, although nearly one in 10 (9%) said they have no spare cash left over each month once they have paid for essentials.

Just over a third (36%) have £100 or less in disposable income each month.

When it comes to debt, those in their 60s owe £3,335.60 on average, including on mortgages, overdrafts and credit cards.

While the average 60-something has £5,672 in savings, more than one in 10 (13%) have £100 or less and nearly one in five (18%) have £500 or less.

Around three in 10 (29%) had considered downsizing their home to make life more affordable.

The research also found T he Beatles, Abba, Fleetwood Mac and the Rolling Stones are the favourite music acts among those surveyed, while Grease and Shirley Valentine are the top films of choice.

Long-running favourites Antiques Roadshow, Strictly Come Dancing and Midsomer Murders were the top three TV shows for 60-somethings, with Luther and Sherlock also in the top 10.

Three-quarters of those surveyed were in a relationship, the average length of which was 31 years.

More than one in three (36%) wish they had travelled more, making this the top regret, but one in four (25%) said they were very content with their life and had no regrets.

Paul Green, director of communications for over-50s specialists Saga, said: "We need to do more as a society to properly value the experience and wise counsel of older workers if we want Britain to continue to grow and flourish."

Employment Minister Damian Hinds said employers have a "huge amount to gain" by recognising older workers' valuable knowledge and experience.

He said: " There are now more over-50s in employment than ever before which is great news, but we must keep up this momentum as our population ages.

"I want to see more employers supporting older workers and taking full advantage of the benefits they bring to their business and our economy."

Press Association

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