the fight against discrimination against seniors intensifies


With the shift in the legal retirement age, seniors will have to play longer in the job market. However, it continues to discriminate against them. At least this is the feeling of the 1,500 employees representative of the private sector surveyed as part of the latest barometer of perception of equal opportunities in business from Medef, published in October 2023.

Half of those surveyed fear being discriminated against at work one day, the first fear being linked to age – 41% mention it – ahead of physical appearance (19%). The interministerial delegation for the fight against racism, anti-Semitism and anti-LGBT hatred (Dilcrah) could fill this gap. Renaissance MP Marc Ferracci has in fact tabled an amendment to the 2024 finance bill to broaden the missions of this body, and give it the means to launch “testings” on all categories, including seniors.

These operations consist of sending employers dummy CVs of candidates with a similar profile, varying a single criterion, and make it possible to ess the extent of this type of discrimination. But they often ignore the age variable. “We are taking this subject head on and will carry out a first test in 2024 dedicated to this age groupsays Marc Ferracci. Our objective is to change the behavior of companies through fines or through “name and shame” by publishing the names of those who discriminate. »

Persistence of age discrimination

Beyond employee perceptions, age discrimination is in fact a reality, explains Jean-François Amadieu, professor of work sociology at Paris-I-Panthéon-Sorbonne University: “The rejection of seniors when hiring is often linked to a less attractive appearance. Excessive weight and a tired face reflect prejudices about supposed lower performance at work. »

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Programs target seniors to facilitate their return to work

A test, carried out in November 2021 by the research animation, studies and statistics department, which depends on the Ministry of Labor, makes it possible to become aware of the extent of the problem. Focused on discrimination against North Africans, it consisted of sending 9,600 applications to employers. Result ? A candidate with a “French-sounding name” aged between 48 and 55 is almost three times less likely to be called back for an interview (14%) than a candidate in the 23-30 age bracket (39%), all other things being equal. And again, this testing excluded those over 55, who are more penalized…

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