Over-50s hardest hit by Covid redundancies

Concerns have been raised about the opportunities for older workers to find new jobs.

6 Apr 2021| News

Redundancies among the over-50s have been disproportionately high compared with workers of other age groups, new research has revealed.

Analysis of Office for National Statistics data by Rest Less, a digital community for people in over 50, found that 107,000 older workers were made redundant between November 2020 and January 2021.

This is a 195% increase on the redundancy rate seen by the over-50s during the same period the year before, with 70,500 more people losing their jobs.

It also puts the redundancy rate for over-50s higher than any other age group, with 12.8 people per thousand being laid off compared with 8.9 per thousand in the 25-34 year-old group.

Stuart Lewis, Founder of Rest Less, fears the situation will get worse as furlough arrangements come to an end, warning of a “tsunami of redundancies amongst workers in their 50s and 60s”.

“This is particularly worrying because we know that over-50s are likely to struggle more than any other group to get back into work – so we risk seeing many of these people leaving the workforce for good,” Kim Chaplain, Associate Director of Work at the Centre for Ageing Better, said.

Indeed, previous research has found that workers over the age of 50 are two and a half times more likely to become long-term unemployed than their younger counterparts, Stuart Lewis pointed out.