Britain's anti-ageism watchdog employs FEWER older people than most of the firms it monitors, a study revealed yesterday.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission also employs fewer youngsters than the national average.

The under-fire quango - which escaped being chucked on a Tory bonfire last month - fights age discrimination in the workplace.

But just over one in ten staff at its London, Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow HQs is between 55 and 64 - compared to a UK average of 14 per cent.

And not even one per cent is over 65, a Sun investigation using the Freedom of Information Act found. Yet pensioners make up nearly two per cent of the country's entire working population.

Just three per cent, 14 of 452 workers, are under 24 compared to a UK average of 13 per cent.

The website of the commission - headed by Trevor Phillips - states: "We have a statutory duty to protect, enforce and promote equality across age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation and gender reassignment". Chris Ball, chief executive of The Age and Employment Network - which promotes job prospects for older generations - said: "Looking at employee numbers against their skills will become a must for all employers to avoid suddenly being without key people.