Age Discrimination and its impacts

A human being is configured to work, eke out a living and live in relative term a good life. Man as a member of society could not meet all that he or she needs hence the reliance on the exchange system in which labour is exchanged for pay to facilitate commerce and economic relationship.

Today’s industrial economic system had eliminated trade by barter and has introduced the mercantile economy which focuses essentially on the production system and has made progress by seeing labour as the sole engine that drives its success.

Capitalism, “welfarism” and the pseudo-socialist system all depend on continuous employment of their citizens to oil the wheels of economic progress. In as much as some job would require agility, youthfulness and high level of energy to perform it is the desire of every government to put a larger percentage of her citizens in meaningful employment.

We know that national economic performances are measured on the basis of per capita GDP, which is the gross domestic product divided by the total population of a country. A national with lesser employment ratio would turn out poor per capita GDP.

Other disadvantages of age discrimination in employment are:

  • Stifling of nation’s economic development
  • A higher rate of inequality in employment
  • Global migration from poorer nations to the developed world
  • Unfair work practices such as low pay, exploitation of the workers etc
  • A higher level of political instability. The saying goes that an idle hand is the devil’s workshop
  • A high rate of poverty and diseases
  • Health risk and high maternal mortality
  • Lack of competitiveness and reliance on imported goods

It is the opinion of this writer that Nigeria as a nation should promote best practices in its employment laws and lessen age discrimination in employment. As the benefit of having an expanded employment opportunity, far out weight the current practice in the country.

Change as we know comes gradually and through a change in perception and change in the ways, which things are done presently, the change that is required in employment practice and law would have to be championed and initiated by HR practitioners. Let’s follow global best practices to make the Nigerian workplace a more inclusive place for national economic development.

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