Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Thousands of older workers across the UK are faced with the prospect of entering the New Year without any work. The cuts, though affecting all ages in employment are set to hit the over 50s the hardest.

In response to this cull, an innovative new project aimed at assisting the over 50s with specialist support and advice will launch in January.

The new Help Line project Promoting Age Diversity (PAD) will be delivered by Wise Owls a non-profit and leading over 50s support & employment agency, following funding from Trust for London. The project will provide vital tips, support and information that will arm the job seeker with the tools they need to take on the process of looking for meaningful employment and helping them overcome their situation.

Wise Owls director Chris Walsh said "Promoting Age Diversity (PAD) will help 50s job seekers from across London and the UK get specialist support both on-line and by phone from the Wise Owls experts."

He continued "The reason this service has never been so important is clear. In the past the public sector has started its redundancy programmes by targeting their older staff, and it looks increasingly likely this will be happening again."

This is a major improvement for jobseekers who have often fallen foul of the postcode lottery. This extension to will allow anyone in the UK to call and receive the help they need.

This means that over 50s job seekers from across London and the UK can get specialist support both on-line and by phone from the Wise Owls experts. Wise Owls has hundreds of job vacancies on its two websites and, and has contacts with thousands of employers who understand the benefits of employing staff of all ages and is able to offer expert free advice to help older people retain and get a job. This support is available to all over 50s regardless of postcode.

The number for the help line is 0207 278 5191 - email

Monday, 20 December 2010

EFB Mock Tribunal with Lewis Silkin

The Employers Forum on Belief in association with Lewis Silkin invites you to a Mock Tribunal. The only time you’ll get to go to a tribunal where everyone’s a winner! This is a unique opportunity to hear from a lawyer, tribunal judge and barrister in a simulated hearing focussed on discrimination on grounds of religion or belief. Experience the drama and tension of a tribunal first hand but without paying the penalty if you get things wrong. Guided by legal experts Lewis Silkin, you will learn – the proceedings, the evidence required, the possible objective justifications and potential questions, who might be called and what will they be asked. And a chance to cast your verdict. Whether you’re an in-house lawyer, HR specialist or line manager you are going to want to be at this event.


£150 for EFB members

£275 for non members

Please click here to complete a booking form for this event.


"It was extremely useful and the topic was highly relevant".Emma Smith, Herbert Smith LLP.

"It was good to debate the issues and see that these things are rarely clear cut,"Sharon Kyle, Sodexo.

To find out what happens in mock tribunals click here.

Event details

Start Date:18/01/2011
End Date:18/01/2011
Location:Lewis Silkin LLP, 5 Chancery Lane, Clifford's Inn, London EC4A 1BL

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Unemployment On The Rise Yet Again

Figures released yesterday from the Office of National Statistics have shown that unemployment across the UK has risen by 35,000 in the last 3 months.

With unemployment now standing at the 2.5 million mark, the increase has been widely blamed on recent public spending cuts introduced by the government in their comprehensive spending review. This is of particular concern to over 50s, as early indications from Wise Owls' research has shown that they are felling the brunt of public sector job losses.

The research is ongoing, with the findings expected to be published early in the new year, and is part of a larger Age Equality Impact Assessment Campaign being conducted by Wise Owls.

Friday, 10 December 2010

NGO Coalition on Intergenerational Solidarity welcomes EPSCO decision to declare 2012 European Year for Active Ageing & Solidarity between Generations

We are pleased that the EPSCO Council supported our call and has decided to extend the title for the proposed European Year 2012 to “Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations”.

We welcome the objectives of the Year, i.e. “to encourage and support the efforts of Member States, their regional and local authorities, social partners, civil society and the business community to promote active ageing and to do more to mobilise the potential of the rapidly growing population in their late 50s and above, thereby creating a society for all ages and fostering solidarity and cooperation between generations”.

Together with a large coalition of European NGOs, we have campaigned for several years now to promote a vision of a society for all ages based on greater solidarity and cooperation between generations. Through this campaign we have collected examples of good practice and recommendations to help policy makers at local, national and European level design policies that strengthen intergenerational solidarity through active ageing. Empowering older people to age in good health and to contribute more actively to the labour market and to their communities is necessary to help us cope with our demographic challenge in a way that is fair and sustainable for all generations.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Conservative MP supports campaign but fails to endorse it

Wise Owls received a response today from the Conservative MP for Cardiff North Jonathan Evans. The letter, which is in response to our Equality Impact Assessment Campaign agreed with the sentiment of our campign, but failed to go that step further and support the suggestions made within it.

The campaign asks the government to assess the implications of the cuts to those most in need that come under the equality banner. In addition Wise Owls are asking for the government to measure the cuts on the workforce - taking a measurement of exisitng employees, those recruited and those made redudant by age.

It is our understanding that until we have a baseline figure, we are unable to tell whether staff are being targetted because of age when it comes to employment. Therefore it has been left to us to accumalate these statistics and that is what we are in the process of doing now.

Last year Wise Owls embarked on a research of all employees in the London borough councils and the Englsih National councils using the FOI Act. Our results and conclusion can be viewed here. Ageism in the public sector workforce - Wise Owls Age Audit

The Age Discrimination Act introduced in 2006 and updated in 2010 though welcome, will fail to be as protective as it need be unless statistic ananlysis is included iwithin its framework.

For the full letter from Jonathan Evans - click here.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

GP's Guilty of Age Discrimination

A new report has revealed that older people are less likely to recieve referals from thier GP than younger people with similar symptoms.

In a study contucted by a team from the King's Fund and University College London, which compared referal for three common symptoms in patients of different ages, sex and wealth, people aged over 85 were found to be 61% less likely to be refered for postmenopausal bleeding and 32% less likely to be refered for hip pain. The team analysed data for 130,000 patients from 326 practices throughout the UK over a 6 year period.

The report published yesterday in the British Medical Journal did not examin the reasoning behind GPs decision, however Michelle Mitchell of Age UK stressed that "A doctor's decision to refer patients must be based solely on the patient's clinical need, not their age. Age discrimination in health provision will be unlawful from 2012 and it can't come a moment too soon for older people in need of medical care."