It is illegal for employers to reject someone applying for a job for his or her age. What do you think about it? Is it positive or negative?


In the workplace these are most often decisions about recruitment, promotion and dismissal. Although such discrimination could be seen in a reluctance to hire workers who were perceived to be too young and immature for the job, in practice it refers to a bias against older workers. Nationwide laws against age discrimination are some 30 years old In the United States, 20 years old in Canada and 10 years old In Australia. Discrimination in any form Is not only illegal, but also a bad business practice.

The elderly may be just as capable as the young. Since age is not necessarily an Indication of inferior ability or potential, treating a person less favorably purely on the basis of their age Is just as unreasonable and unfair as doing so on the basis of his race or religion. If a particular elderly worker truly has, say, less concentration or manual strength than a younger worker, and this objectively and reasonably makes him less qualified for the particular job, then employers can still make their decisions based on his relative lack of suitability for the job – not on his age. Age by itself should not be a determinant.

Discriminatory practices in recruitment and promotion cause detriment to the economy, discrimination reduces productivity because job and advancement opportunities are Inefficiently matched to workers and talent is wasted. The Cabinet Office study of older workers estimated that low employment among older people reduces GDP by 16 billion per annum. Higher participation rates among older workers lead to better matching of jobs to people,

Increased employment rates, and enhanced competition among workers that will stimulate the labour market In the longer run. The belief that the economy has only a limited number of jobs, and If older workers remain In the labour market they will deny job opportunities to younger people, or push down wages, is the well-known ‘lump of labour’ fallacy. Wages are especially unlikely to drop In Industries with existing or projected shortages, such as in teaching, and nursing.


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