Redundancies Amongst the Over 50s Have Nearly Tripled in a Year

  • There were 107,000 over 50s made redundant in November to January 2021 – an increase of more than 70,500 or 195% year on year
  • Whilst redundancy levels in the UK have fallen from their peak, the fall has been slowest amongst the over 50s
  • The redundancy rate of those over the age of 50 is now higher than all other age groups and currently stands at 12.8 per thousand employees.  
  • There were estimated to be nearly 1.3 million over 50s on furlough at the end of February 2021 – or 28% of the total furloughed workforce of 4.65 million. 

Redundancies amongst the over 50s have increased by 195% in a year, with the level and rate both higher than any other age group, according to new analysis of official ONS statistics from Rest Less, the digital community for the over 50s.

Table 1: Redundancy Level and Rate – % Year on Year Increases By Age Group, Nov-Jan 2020 versus Nov-Jan 2021

Age BreakdownRedundancy Level Nov-Jan 2021Redundancy Level A Year Ago (Nov-Jan 2020)YoY Increase Redundancy Rate Nov-Jan 2021Redundancy Rate A Year Ago (Nov-Jan 2020)
Over 50s 106,72336,189195%12.84.4

The redundancy rate is the ratio of the redundancy level for the given quarter to the number of employees in the previous quarter, multiplied by 1,000.  The numbers marked in grey are based on a small sample size.

Nationally, redundancies hit a pandemic peak of 395,000 in September to November 2020.  Whilst redundancy levels have fallen nationally by 22% since the peak, they are falling more slowly amongst older workers.

Table 2: Redundancy Levels at Peak versus Latest Redundancy Levels (Nov-Jan 2021)

Age Redundancy Levels at Peak*Redundancy Level Nov-Jan 2021% Fall Since Peak to Nov-Jan 2021Redundancy Rate at Peak*Redundancy Rate Nov-Jan 2021
25-34111,740 61,28645%16.28.9
35-49118,694 103,95312%12.811.2
Over 50s 120,506106,72311%14.412.8

*16-24 year olds hit their redundancy level and rate peak in July-September 2020.  All other age groups hit their redundancy level and rate peak in September-November 2020