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Tuesday, 15 January, 2002, 09:44 GMT
Ageism at work 'still rife'
City workers
Older people are excluded from work
Age discrimination is still rife, and urgent legislation is needed to stamp it out, a survey has said.

According to an ICM poll for Age Concern, nearly one third of people know someone who has been a victim of age discrimination at work.

Age discrimination is so widespread that 70% of people believe that ageism still occurs, the same as when a similar survey was conducted in 1998.

Another one-in-10 people said that they have experienced discrimination by the NHS, health insurance companies, and been turned down for financial products because of their age.

Too old

Age Concern criticised employers and companies for failing to tackle ageism - and the government's voluntary Code of Practice on age diversity in employment, which was published in 1999.

Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern England, said: "The government's voluntary code clearly isn't working.

"Comprehensive legislation is needed now, not just to cover the workplace but many other sectors of life."

In November 2000, the government adopted a European Union directive, which outlaws age discrimination at work.

It must now introduce legislation which supports the directive's principles by 2006.

Political voice

Age Concern has also announced plans to offer older people membership of the charity, to strengthen its campaigning work.

Mr Lishman, said: " It will give older people the opportunity to directly influence policy makers and force the 'age' issue higher up the political agenda."

There are between 700,000 and 1m people in the UK who are aged between 50 and 64 and are unemployed or "economically inactive".

See also:

13 Nov 01 | Northern Ireland
Report looks at age discrimination
23 Jul 01 | Health
Concern over sedative use
14 Feb 01 | UK
Retirement ages set to go
04 Dec 00 | Scotland
Poverty 'killing' elderly
15 Jan 02 | Health
Healthcare age bias 'widespread'
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