Are downsizing and early retirement considered as forms of ageism?
As the law states, age discrimination is defined as forcing an employment decision (such as mandatory retirement) based merely on age rather than competence. Under federal and provincial human rights laws, age discrimination is prohibited in Canada. Under Ontario’s Human Rights Code, anyone above 18 is protected against age discrimination in the workplace. The law explicitly bans compulsory retirement and safeguards employees aged 65 or older from being forced to retire; unless there is a “bona fide occupational requirement” to justify the retirement age.
Two examples of prejudice and discrimination on a person’s age are early retirement and downsizing. Understandably some might disagree, but if we look at them closely enough, we can find the elements of ageism in both of them. Even though early retirement is something many people want, it can be considered ageism if people are forced to leave their jobs because of their age and regardless of their capabilities. In other words, if early retirement were always optional, it wouldn’t count as ageism, but since it’s not, we can count it as a form of ageism.
One might say that downsizing is not ageism since people of all ages might encounter it for a wide variety of reasons that has nothing to do with their age. That would be correct if behind this downsizing weren’t any self-serving intentions. The truth is that downsizing is often used to get rid of the larger paycheck of older people and the reasons employers claim to have for this action are just excuses. Remember that the downsizing is just downsizing in some cases with no ulterior motives behind it!
I don’t believe that downsizing has anything to do with ageism. When employers are forced to let go of some workers, they usually focus on those with lower work performance and inadequate skills. As for early retirement, I think it’s only considered ageism when employees are forced to retire early. Otherwise, it’s actually an excellent opportunity for older adults.
Early retirement, also known as forced retirement, is considered ageism. Companies force seniors to leave their job, not because of incapability but their age. However, downsizing is a permanent reduction of a company’s incapable and unproductive staff regardless of age. But, indeed, seniors are mostly subjected to downsizing because of the common belief of older workers’ uselessness. In this case, it’s regarded as ageism.