Redundant at over 50 – what makes it more likely?

Redundant at over 50 – what makes it more likely?

Are you more likely to be made redundant at over 50? The thought can be a scary one but information can be empowering, which is why it’s important to know how to protect yourself against this.

Employees in their 50s are more than two times as likely to be made redundant compared to people in their 40s, fresh analysis of official information has shown.

Campaigners have said the findings suggest proof of “ageism in activity”, something which has become increasingly concerning over the years. This also represents a rate of nearly six in every thousand 50-somethings compared to 2.5 at a thousand for 40-somethings.

The gap between redundancy prices for 50s- and over 40s has also widened over the last year, the analysis by Rest significantly less, an employment website for elderly employees, has shown.

Caroline Abrahams, director of Age UK, the charity, said: “It’s about that more employees in their 50s are being made redundant than those in their 40s, and this might be evidence of ageism in actions. In spite of it being illegal, we hear from a lot of men and women who’ve been treated unfairly in the workplace simply because they’re older.” If this has been going on across the UK, why is nothing being done about it?

Protection from being made redundant at over 50

The over-50s have made up nearly 80 percent of employment growth within the previous 10 decades. In 2008, almost eight million over-50s were employed. From the end of 2018, their amount was close to 10.4 million. This means that they make up a big portion of the employment population at present.

Ms Abrahams stated: “We need to step up attempts to make sure everyone is valued according to their own abilities rather than an arbitrary attribute like their age — that is just a number and bears little connection to the skills and competencies that somebody possesses.” We could not agree more.

Stuart Lewis, founder of Rush significantly less, said the findings show “confirmation that age discrimination doesn’t just happen in the recruitment process, but also with older employees who get less workplace instruction, and are more likely to be made redundant than their younger counterparts.”

redundant at over 50

Many in their 50s and 60s are trapped between a rock and a hard place – having an ever increasing state retirement age forcing them to work for more, and prevalent age discrimination making it harder than it should be to find and keep employment.

This past year, MPs warned that one million over-50s were being lost to the office because age discrimination laws wasn’t working. This means that we are losing out on many important skills just because of a person’s date of birth.

The Commons’ girls and equalities committee said firms need to conform to an ageing office and provide more flexible conditions for employees who were having to take care of elderly relatives. These steps will ensure that those over 50 will have opportunities to meet both their professional and personal responsibilities, making it easier for them to come into work.

Just as we make accommodations for the younger generation to be able to meet their childcare responsibility, we need to ensure those over 50 are not being left behind.

It is also important for those who fear being made redundant over 50 to speak out when they think they are being unfairly treated. Reaching out to local organisations that support those in this age group and protect them against discrimination will not only allow them to share their concerns, but help us to get a better understanding of how regularly this is happening and what we need to do to continue to combat it.


  • Stephen

    Stephen is now retired. He spent 25 years in community welfare and is one of the co-founders of life over 50. He has a keen interest in everything concerning this special age group.....and makes valuable contributions to the site. In his spare time, he enjoys photography, cycling and gardening. Also a keen jazz music lover!

One thought on “Redundant at over 50 – what makes it more likely?

  1. Unfortunately, age discrimination is a real thing and I’ve had to deal with it for some time. Some people or companies just assume that as we age, we aren’t as “good” for them as we once were. It’s frustrating to say the least. They should realize that while some might be slower than before, our gained experience over the years can prove of great help. I guess it depends on the actual work you’re doing but I consider myself as a much better employee now than I was in my 20’s.

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