The number of redundancies amongst those aged in their 60s nearly quadrupled (an increase of 296%) in the last quarter*, according to new analysis from Rest Less, the jobs and community site for the over 50s.

Rest Less analysed a bespoke data set provided by the Office of National Statistics and found that redundancies of those aged between 60 and 69 increased from 8,000 between April to June (Q2) this year to 31,000 between July to September (Q3).

Redundancies by Age Group

redundacies by age group 2020

In the last recession in 2009 women could retire at 60 and receive a state pension. This year the state pension age increased to 66 for both men and women. Someone being made redundant at the age of 60 today still has six years to work before they can receive the state pension.

Stuart Lewis, Founder of Rest Less, commented: “Our analysis shows that older workers are bearing the burden of heightened age discrimination in the pandemic.

‘With the state pension age increasing to 66 this year, the Government has made it clear that it expects people to work well into their mid 60s, and yet widespread age discrimination in the workplace continues to make it more dificult for otherwise talented individuals to find new employment in their 60s.

‘Older workers are less likely to receive workplace training than their younger counterparts and once made redundant, are significantly more likely to find themselves in long term unemployment.

‘Contrary to popular belief, most 60-somethings are not reveling in their gold plated final salary pensions – a long lost preserve of their parents’ generation. Instead, many are seeing their retirement savings decimated by the pandemic and face a significant long term drop in their future retirement income – something that risks stalling the UK’s economic recovery for years to come.

‘We urge the government to offer more targeted support and retraining to help older workers back into the workplace – to ensure this surge in mid-life redundancies doesn’t drift into long-term unemployment and an early retirement that people neither want, nor can afford.”

Emily Andrews, Senior Evidence Manager, Centre for Ageing Better, added: “The pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on many people’s careers, and those in later life face specific challenges at this time. Financially, this is devastating as not only are people unable to contribute to their pensions, they are using their savings or drawing pensions early meaning less money is available when they eventually reach retirement.

‘The announcement of funding for 400 level 3 (or ‘A-level equivalent’) courses for adults under Lifetime Skills Guarantee is welcome news for older workers who may need to retrain in the wake of the pandemic. For them to benefit, these courses need to be offered on a flexible basis that fits in with their life commitments and responsibilities. They also need to be supported with funding for lower-level courses, to help everyone on the ladder towards high-level qualifications.”

Case studies available on request

Notes to Editors

*Rest Less’s analysis is based on a bespoke dataset – not seasonally adjusted – from the Office of National Statistics based on Labour Force Survey data on redundancies by age, comparing April to June data and July to September data 2020.

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Aisling Gray
Head of Communications
Phone: 07900996065
Email: [email protected]

About Rest Less

Rest Less ( launched in December 2018 and is a membership community for the over 50s designed to help its members get more out of life. Rest Less has thousands of jobs available on its site from progressive age-friendly employers across the country. Rest Less is the leading site in the UK to offer flexible opportunities to work, volunteer or even start a new career path, specifically targeting the rapidly growing over 50s market.