There is an ominous new thread starting to pervade my mailbox these days. I
receive an average of five new letters every week from people newly aware of age discrimination. (CAADE has over 5000 case histories)
People, at long last, are starting to get the message about the dangers of age discrimination, especially in employment. It happens to real people every day and every day that we procrastinate in government debate, somebody, somewhere suffers.
Employers too are becoming aware of the ramifications of legislation (due by 2006) and many of them, through lack of knowledge, are panicking irrationally about their older employees. One distasteful trait that is becoming prevalent in our work culture is ‘bullying’. More and more older employees are being undermined and distanced by employers because they fear to have ‘too many‘ older employees with demanded new rights, giving them a hard time. Other employers who fear discrimination legislation have taken to sidelining and deliberately bullying their employees into early retirement packages.
Some employers are subtle, some are brutal. All of their fears are totally unwarranted. Legislation will come in to protect employees AND employers and nobody is intent on developing a stick to beat employers with.
To this end CAADE has produced a system of ‘Age Audits’ designed especially to reassure employers and help them develop new and good relationships with their older employees.