Workers in Hong Kong face ageism

Overall discrimination low compared to other countries

More than one third of Hong Kong's jobseekers believe they have been discriminated against in applying for a job, with mature workers facing the greatest prejudice, according to a new study.

The global survey by staffing company Kelly Services has found that 38 per cent of respondents in Hong Kong say they have experienced discrimination of some type when applying for a job in the last five years.

The Kelly Global Workforce Index sought the views of approximately 70,000 jobseekers in 28 countries including more than 300 in Hong Kong.

The major sources of discrimination identified by respondents were age, cited by 19 per cent, followed by nine per cent for gender, five per cent race and one per cent for disability.

However, levels of discrimination in Hong Kong are low by global standards with Hong Kong ranked 26th on the list of 28 countries. Sweden, Thailand and Singapore ranked highest. Hong Kong, followed by Indonesia, were the lowest amongst the eight countries surveyed in the Asia-Pacific region.

Approximately 11 per cent of men and eight per cent of women in Hong Kong reported gender discrimination when applying for work. The survey found that people without university qualifications reported higher rates of discrimination.

Age discrimination is more prevalent with 29 per cent of workers aged 45 or older reporting they felt they had been discriminated against because of their age. And 22 per cent of younger workers aged up to 24 also believed they were victims of age discrimination.

The survey also found that approximately 27 per cent of those surveyed believed they were subject to discrimination in their day-to-day working life.

Latest stories