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Ageism

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Lindylou | 12:19 Fri 29th Sep 2006 | Law
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I have recently 'retired' from my full-time NHS job (aged 60) because of the Agenda for Change and several other reasons, and am looking for part-time employment. I have no problem in getting interviews (3 so far, with the local Authority and the NHS again) but I have not succeeded in securing the position. I am eminently qualified for each position I have applied for, but have been turned down on every occasion. I feel that the interviews themselves went well and my CV shows that I am experienced in each item on the job description. I know my references are excellent because I've seen them! The law on ageism is changing in October but how could it be proved by an failed candidate that s/he has been turned down for employment solely because of age. Surely another excuse would be be used. How do I counter this? I need to get another job to supplement my pension - which is, after 20 years in the NHS, abysmal!! I am actually entitled to Pension credit, housing and council tax assistance, etc etc. Always worked and still want too. Any advice which wonderful ABers could offer would be very gratefully received.

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Age discrimination comes into effect on 1/10 and its going to be a important piece of legislation. As its so new, it will take a while before the law can be tested and case law established so at the moment its difficult to say how things will work

Look at the Acas website for further information

www.acas.org.uk
The new legislation has loads of grey areas and I can imagine that the courts and employment tribunals are going to be overloaded with cases until it settles down.

Concentrate on just being yourself, sharpen up on interview technique and forget about how old you are. Put your best smile on, go in smart clothes that you are totally comfortable in and think positive. Maybe a change from NHS or Local Authority might be a better bet. Whatever skills you possess can be tailored to another industry. Some employer will be lucky enough to employ you!
Good luck!
Take your age off your CV for a start, if it's currently on there, and perhaps consider removing the specific dates off the jobs in which you were employed so that an employer can't necessarily work out how old you are.
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As from yesterday the law is now on your side, so if you feel you have the qualifications for a job and don't get it, contact the employer and ask for feedback as to the reasons why you were not successful, and ask what the age was of the individual appointed. You could even be cheeky at interviews and ask how the company is dealing with the Ageism legislation and whether they have any roles where this could be an issue because of physical safety, etc.

But above all, be confident that you've done all you can to present yourself smartly and sell your skills to the best of your ability. If you appear enthusiastic and energetic they may not guess how old you are. (And if you have a few grey hairs, why not resort to a hair colourant? "You know you're worth it !!!!)
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Many thanks for your answers! I worked for 'Personnel' for approximately 8 years and my date of birth isn't on my CV. Dates of various jobs aren't mentioned. As I said, no probs in getting interviews - just the jobs! The last one I had to phone to request the result of the interview (even though, by then, I'd guessed..) as they didn't even have the courtesy to let me know I hadn't been successful. When I ask for feedback no-one says there's a problem with my age. Very difficult decision to make because of the quality of the candidates, etc etc. Getting fed up with it all now! Think I'll just switch on the telly and take to the booze!

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