Backlash as Tory minister suggests older people get jobs delivering takeaways

Backlash as Tory minister suggests older people get jobs delivering takeaways
Mel Stride enters Downing Street amid Rishi Sunak cabinet shake-up

A Tory minister has ruffled feathers after he suggested older people looking for work should deliver takeaways.

In an interview with the Times during a visit to Deliveroo's headquarters, work and pensions secretary Mel Stride suggested over-50s take on flexible jobs like takeaway delivery, claiming that it was “good for people to consider options they might not have otherwise thought of”.

61-year-old Stride said: “What we’re seeing here is the ability to log on and off any time you like, no requirement to have to do a certain number of hours over a certain period of time, which is driving huge opportunities.

He added that employers could also benefit from widening their recruitment pool to “access all the available talent”, and that flexible working can attract older workers.

About 8.6 million people in the UK – equivalent to one in five working adults – are classed as economically inactive, according to the Office for National Statistics. More than 3.4 million of them are over 50 but under the retirement age and all these figures have increased a lot since the pandemic.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

This is placing strain on the labour market, where many employers are struggling to recruit, and which the Bank of England has warned is part of the reason for high inflation.

Analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies thinktank found that nearly half of older people who dropped out of the workforce at the start of the pandemic were struggling financially.

But reacting to his advice, people on social media thought he was being a bit flippant and roasted him more than any takeaway ever could:

So if you see a Tory minister at your front door holding a pizza, don't be surprised. It's probably just Mel Stride trying to make a bit of extra dough, by delivering dough.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)