OLDER workers are set to bear the brunt of a sharp rise in unemployment, a survey said today.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said 26% of firms which had already axed staff had plans to make further redundancies in the coming year.

More than half of them were planning job cuts in the next three months, the survey said.

Older members of staff were particularly at risk – with a fifth of employers saying they would take advantage of rules allowing them to make workers aged over 65 redundant without having to provide a business reason.