Employers are reluctant to hire people over the age of 50, even when they fulfil every requirement for a job, reports Vísir.
According to Landssamband eldri borgara (National Association of Senior Citizens) Icelanders who lose their job after turning 50 struggle to get new jobs despite decades of work experience and are slowly being pushed out of the job market.
“There are countless examples of national identity numbers [which include a person’s date of birth] being a deterrent when people are searching for work. Even when there are decent opportunities available and people have the right skills,” said chairperson of the National Association of Senior Citizens, Jóna Valgerður Kristjánsdóttir. “It’s like employers are afraid to hire older citizens and think that they will just be sick all the time but research proves otherwise. Those who call in sick the most are aged between 18 and 30, people aged 60 and over have great work attendance.”
Much like in the other developed nations, Iceland’s population is ageing. “With the numbers of older people growing we really shouldn’t be looking at this as a problem,” said Jóna. “We need to look at these people as a resource we can use in the future.”