Those in Their 50s are More Than Twice as Likely to Be Made Redundant Than Those in Their 40s

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Redundancy rates amongst 50 somethings are more than double the rates for those in their 40s, according to new research from Rest Less, a jobs, volunteering and advice site for the over 50s.

According to analysis of April to June redundancy data from the Office of National Statistics*, Rest Less found that redundancy rates in the UK amongst those in their 50s were more than twice that of those in their 40s. Between April and June this year, 31,000 people in their 50s were made redundant (a redundancy rate of 5.4 per 1,000 employees) compared with 15,000 people in their 40s (who had a redundancy rate of 2.5 per 1,000 employees).

Those in their 60s (60-69 year olds) were second to those in their 50s as the age group most likely to be made redundant, with a redundancy rate of 5.2 per thousand employees. Millennials (16-29 year olds) came next: 26,000 were made redundant between April and June this year (a redundancy rate of 3.7 per 1,000). Those aged in their 40s were the group least likely to be made redundant after the over 70s.

Stuart Lewis, Founder of Rest Less, commented on the data: “These official figures are confirmation that age discrimination doesn’t just occur in the recruitment process, but also with older employees who receive less workplace training, and are more likely to be made redundant than their younger counterparts.

“Many in their 50s and 60s are stuck between a rock and a hard place – with an ever increasing state pension age forcing them to work for longer, and widespread age discrimination making it harder than it should be to find and retain employment.

“Given generational lows in the unemployment rate and an extremely tight labour market – progressive employers who embrace the opportunity to work with this highly skilled and talented part of the workforce will be the ones who prosper – as life expectancy continues to rise and the UK population as a whole ages.”

  Age Group
Number of Redundancies (Q2 2019) Redundancy Rate per 1,000 Employees (Q2 2019) Number of Redundancies (Q2 2018) Redundancy Rate per 1,000 Employees (Q2 2018)
16-29 26,000 3.7 21,000 3
30-39 20,000 3.1 21,000 3.2
40-49 15,000 2.5 17,000 2.8
50-59 31,000 5.4 30,000 5.3
60-69 11,000 5.2 9,000 4.4
70-79 1,000 2.4 1,000 2.9

Jagdeep Soor, Senior Programme Manager (Work) at the Centre for Ageing Better, commented:

“Falling out of work can have a huge impact on our lives, especially when we’re over the age of 50 and it can be so much harder to get back into a good job.

“We do need employers, recruiters and Government to think more carefully about how they can support people in their 50s and 60s. One way to do this is to offer older workers the opportunity to join retraining schemes and apprenticeships. At the same time, Government should also consider trialling ways of incentivising employers to recruit and retrain over-50s.

“Employers who do more to recruit older workers will benefit from retaining their skills and experience at a time of projected labour and skills shortages. And helping people back into work means they’re less likely to rely on the benefits system and more able to build up social connections, remain in good health and put money aside for eventual retirement.”

Notes to Editors

*This data is based on bespoke data provided by the ONS to Rest Less on 28 August 2019 and analyses non-seasonally adjusted Q2 data from April to June every year from 2019 back to 2009

For media enquiries, please contact:

Aisling Gray
PR Lead, Rest Less
Phone: 07900996065
Email: [email protected]

Have you been made redundant in your 50s, 60s or above?