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Discrimination against older workers in Iceland

by on December 3, 2014

No, not older workers in the British supermarket that specialises in frozen foods. I mean older workers in that Nordic country between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean.

In what I think is the first Icelandic reference picked up in our data, this item on the Reykjavic Grapevine website reports how Icelanders who lose their job after turning 50 apparently struggle to get new jobs, despite decades of work experience. The article says they are slowly being pushed out of the job market even though they may meet all the necessary job requirements.

The chairperson of the National Association of Senior Citizens, Jóna Valgerður Kristjánsdóttir, is reported as saying that with an ageing population, older workers should be seen as a resource not a problem – a plea we have seen in many countries.

Interestingly, the only reader comment posted on the website is from someone in the UK (described as a ‘top commenter’) who asks if it might be time for anti age discrimination legislation in Iceland. We’ve long noticed how English language websites attract stories and comments from around the English speaking world so it’s rather satisfying to see this here, particularly as this person claims to have benefited from the legislation in the UK. He says it allowed him ‘to get a job that I would otherwise have been considered too young for’.

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