Fears for older workers’ job prospects when furlough ends

The scheme finishes at the end of the month.

Fears for older workers’ job prospects when furlough ends iStock

Fears are growing of a wave of redundancies among over 50-year-olds when the UK Government’s furlough scheme ends.

Research suggested that 31,000 workers aged 50 or over were made redundant between May and July.

The unemployment rate for 50 to 64-year-olds has increased from 2.8% to 3.4% since the start of the pandemic, an analysis of official figures by the Centre for Ageing Better showed.

The campaign group said there were still more than 360,000 people aged over 55 on furlough, the scheme which finishes at the end of the month.

It called for more support for older people to return to work, saying it feared the end of furlough will lead to a wave of redundancies.

Emily Andrews of the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “Over-50s have had a rough ride during the pandemic.

“The employment rate gap between workers under and over 50 is now growing, threatening to reverse decades of progress.

“With the furlough scheme ending, there is a real risk that we could see a fresh wave of redundancies among this group.

“This is particularly worrying, because we know that over-50s struggle more than any other group to get back into work once they are made redundant.

“Without action, we are likely to see many people in their 50s and 60s falling out of work for good and losing all the benefits of being in good work.

“We need to see tailored support for over-50s to get back into work and a strong message to employers, job coaches and employment support services that this group are as entitled to support as younger workers.”