On a broader level the evidence suggests that despite anti-age discrimination legislation and the removal of age barriers in employment policies and practices, there continue to be stereotypical attitudes towards individuals based on age in the workplace, including the view that a person’s performance decreases from age 50 onwards, and that many employers generalise from what was actually limited experience of older workers with older workers seen as lacking technological skills and being less adaptable to change than younger workers.Interestingly, the authors also note that there is some evidence that anti-discrimination legislation is "having a deadening effect on employers’ proactivity in addressing age related issues on the grounds that to do so would be discriminatory as it would introduce different treatment for different age groups."
Among the recommendations for age management policies, the report includes:
- embedding in the employment relationship a better understanding of how age is currently conceptualized in the world of work in order to maximize the organizational engagement and contribution of older workers;
- workforce training and other initiatives to change the organizational culture around stereotypical attitudes about both older and younger workers; and
- better targeted guidance and education which stresses the business benefits of innovative working practices, engagement and communication, rather than just focusing on compliance with the anti-age discrimination legislation.