Millions of over-50s have suffered age discrimination at work, in shops and even in their local GP’s surgery, a study has found.
Since turning 50, almost four in ten said they experienced age discrimination with 62 per cent of those believing they have lost out on a job because of it.
One respondent, polled by over-50s insurance experts SunLife, was told by a recruitment agency it would be ‘difficult to place her’ due to her age.
Another asked to be put on a course only to be told by their employer they would rather give it to someone younger to get ‘better value’.
Almost half said they had been overlooked for promotion, 50 per cent feel ignored by shop staff and three in ten think their GP treats them differently.
The study also found the workplace is the likeliest scene of age discrimination, followed by shops, while driving, in bars and restaurants and on public transport.
SunLife marketing director Ian Atkinson said: “Age discrimination is still a real challenge facing many people over 50 because of outdated stereotypes and ignorance, but in reality, many are far from this pre-conceived idea some areas of society still seem to have of them.
“It’s also surprising, in a way, that we discriminate against a group we all hope we’ll one day join.
“50 is definitely not ‘old’, and with life expectancy – and retirement age – rising year on year, life after 50 certainly doesn’t mean the need to slow down or ‘take it easy’ – and more brands and businesses need to realise that.
“Far from winding down, people over 50 are busier than ever, trying new things or taking up new hobbies and just generally living life to the full. But they feel discriminated against and stereotyped.
“So, with ‘Welcome to Life After 50’ we want to show what life after 50 is really like and celebrate what is for many, the best time of their lives.”
Sunlife’s study of 2,000 over 50s, also found that as well as experiencing age discrimination themselves, almost a third believe they have witnessed someone else being subjected to it.
After turning 50, 11 per cent said they felt isolated and left out of team bonding exercises, social events and meetings at work while one in ten have faced negative remarks about their age from colleagues.
One in twenty even said they felt they were encouraged, or forced, to retire.
But it’s not just the workplace where over 50s are feeling discriminated due to their age with one in twenty being asked if they are lost when looking at clothes not necessarily aimed at older people.
Almost one in four has been ignored while waiting or queuing for something, a third have been spoken to unnecessarily slowly and around one in six have been called a nickname such as grandma or old man.
One in twenty has even had someone communicate to them through a younger person they are with rather than directly.
Top five places for age discrimination
1. In the work place
2. While out shopping
3. While driving
4. While eating out at pubs, restaurants and bars
5. On public transport