Discrimination against employees aged 50 and over is a ticking time-bomb for the IT industry, according to a recruitment firm.
A survey of 450 UK-based IT professionals by IT recruitment firm Greythorn found the majority (75%) believed the industry discriminated against employees aged 50 and over. Only three out of 10 workers over 50 reported feeling secure in their jobs compared to seven out of 10 for younger employees, said the study.
Paul Winchester, managing director of Greythorn, said, "In professions such as law or accountancy, an employee is considered better at his or her job when they have built up a body of experience and knowledge in a certain area. But in IT, age is not necessarily perceived as an asset," he said.
Winchester said the over 50s are struggling to find jobs in competition with younger candidates who employers believe will adapt more quickly to new technologies. "Is it worth losing the in-depth knowledge, man-management skills and experience of the over-50s in the pursuit of youth?" he asked.
"Clearly, any discrimination on the grounds of age is going to fall foul of age legislation. That means this issue is a ticking time-bomb for the industry. Companies face enormous potential liabilities if they continue to operate this way without considering the relevant legislation."