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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 October, 2003, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Ageism biggest employee gripe
An older worker in a supermarket
Older workers are less happy
Almost one in four workers claim that they have fallen foul of discrimination, bullying or harassment at work, a survey has said.

In fact only 42% of workers, surveyed by MORI for The Guardian and TMP Worldwide, thought firms were harnessing the potential of the UK's diverse working population.

Age discrimination leads the list of employee gripes followed closely by lack of consideration for workers with a disability.

Of those who said that they had been discriminated against, 37% were older workers claiming that their age had counted against them.

Age bar

Ageism is seen by many as the biggest problem when looking for jobs.

When interviewed, more than one in five of workers over the age of 55 said they have been unfairly treated or discriminated against in some way when looking for work, compared to the average across all age groups of 15%.

Moreover, only a third of older workers believe that pay and perks are fair and based on merit in their organisations - 34% of over 55s deem pay and perks to be fair, compared to half of all under 25s.

Discrimination on the grounds of age is due to be outlawed in the UK in 2006.

Nearly a third of disabled workers felt that managers ignored equal opportunity policies and that many colleagues did not value a diverse workplace.

Discrimination on the grounds of race was considered a less regular occurrence.

However, a higher percentage of black respondents felt that discrimination existed in the workplace - 62%, compared to 31% of white respondents.

According to Waqar Azmi OBE, UK National Head of Equality and Diversity at TMP Worldwide, UK business is missing a trick by not taking a positive approach to the diversity of its workforce.

"Over the next decade, employers will be faced with a new set of challenges resulting from demographic changes and an increase in labour and skill mobility.

"This will force employers to take into account all the different groups within the population to ensure they attract and retain the best skills for their business," Mr Azmi said.

Older workers' rights battle
21 May 03  |  Business
Ageism 'common' at work
04 Dec 02  |  Business
Ageing: Europe's growing problem
11 Sep 02  |  Business

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