Stereotypes about elderly labour are common, EHRC commissioned survey shows

The Estonian Human Rights Centre commissioned a survey to assess the attitudes and behaviors of Estonians regarding the potential age discrimination in the labour market. The survey was carried out by the polling firm Norstat Eesti AS and Estonian Institute for Open Society Research.

The research showed that ageism is a real problem in the Estonian society. Respondents consider quite natural that 50+ people are treated differently (=worse) in the labour market than the younger. The existence of restrictions and obstacles seems a social norm and inevitable. It is often presumed that 50+ people should be treated that way since many respondents believe negative stereotypes and, without having any proof, are certain that the elderly oppose innovation and changes, have lost creative approach to their job, are incapable of using modern technologies etc.

Estonian prominent sociologist, and also research team leader of the survey, Iris Pettai concluded that Estonia lacks knowledge-based information about elderly labour. “Knowledge can frequently be replaced by stereotypes, which are sometimes quite discriminating and humiliating,” Pettai added. From the positive side the research demonstrated that the vast majority of people are willing to work closely with people who are of 50+ age and people are very positive about working after retirement age.

The overview and results of the survey can be found here.

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