London, January 24:

Invitations: 5 (very good). Offers of marriage: 0 (excellent). Instances of workplace discrimination: lots.

Singletons in the UK complain of bias in the workplace with pressure to attend after-hours dos and work weekends, a survey revealed today. Most single people are happy being single but many feel picked on at work, left out of couple-dominated social occasions and penalised financially, the telephone survey of 4,000 people by researchers at the media company Carat revealed.

Six out of 10 single people who work claim to have experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace because they are not romantically attached. The most common form of ‘partnerism’ complained about is being expected to work more at weekends (34 per cent), to work longer hours (29 per cent) or attend more out-of-hours social functions (27 per cent) than their colleagues in relationships. One in five said they had been expected to travel more for work than their coupled colleagues.

Men complained more about discrimination because of their single status — two-thirds of single men said they had experienced at least one instance of discrimination compared with 48 per cent of single women. Younger single workers claimed to have it worse. Some 70 per cent of 16-to 24-year-olds said they had experienced ‘coupleist’ attitudes compared with 58 per cent of 25-to 44-year-olds and 45 per cent of 45-to 64-year-olds.

Singletons — whom the researchers defined as divorced, widowed, separated or otherwise not in a relationship and not planning to get married or move in with a partner in the next 12 months — ma-de up 38 per cent of those surveyed but many live in flatshares or with family.

Government figures at the end of last year revealed that around one in six people live alone. Only one in four in the Carat research said they would prefer to be in a steady relationship. Half of single people say they have suffered negative experiences in their social lives as a result of being single.