A new report from leading employment law solicitors Doyle Clayton (www.doyleclayton.co.uk) reveals that Generation Y employees (those in their twenties and early thirties) are not only the most likely to feel they have suffered sex discrimination. They are also the most likely to discriminate against older colleagues and those who work flexibly.
Based on interviews with 1,000 employees across a range of organisations (conducted by Censuswide Research), Doyle Clayton’s Age Before Beauty? report looks at age and gender discrimination, and attitudes of employees towards colleagues who work flexibly.
Its surprise findings include that Generation Y are also the most negative when it comes to discriminatory attitudes towards older workers and people who work flexibly (typically mothers with young families and older workers).
This is particularly important as not only are Gen Y a large element of the workforce, they are the public face of many organisations and, as frontline managers, involved in appraising, monitoring and recruiting staff.
Tina Wisener, a partner at Doyle Clayton (the UK’s largest specialist employment law firm) says: “Our research found that Generation Y employees are the most negative of all age groups towards older workers, part-timers and home workers.
“It is surprising that Generation Y has the most negative attitude towards flexible working and are most likely to see older colleagues and those who work from home or part-time as less committed to their jobs.
“Generation Y are characterised as needing to be treated with kid gloves, on the other hand they are the very people whose attitudes make them likely to object to, and perhaps even thwart, initiatives to include working mums and older workers – the people who most appreciate being able to work flexibly.
Tina Wisener also warns “Generation Y are in supervisory and junior management roles, and are frequently involved in recruitment and appraisals. People in their 50s and 60s applying for a job have a lower chance of a fair hearing when interviewed or appraised by Generation Y”
A complimentary copy of the report is available if you click here.
Steps businesses can take include:
- ensure appropriate training and coaching to ensure managers, especially junior ones, are not allowing negative personal attitudes to lead to discrimination
- provide support to managers to ensure part-time and home-workers are included as much as possible and not excluded from training and team activities
- monitor to make sure that part-time workers and home-workers are not systematically being excluded from training and promotions
- make sure the company’s equality and other policies are up to date to ensure the company is protected should poor behaviour by a manager lead to an employment tribunal and expensive compensation.