By Helen Swire 25 July 2017.
As people work longer than ever, Helen Swire asks what the impact will be on the workforce overall – and how employers can look after their older staff.
Earlier this year, the government launched the Fuller Working Lives report as part of a long-term strategy to encourage us to work longer: to ‘ensure [employers] are not writing people off once they reach a certain age, helping to build a country that works for everyone’.
With estimates that by mid-2030s more than half of Britain’s adult population will be above the age of 50, ministers have set out a strategy to support older workers, recruit older talent, and retain them in the workforce.
At the report’s launch in February, secretary of state for work and pensions Damian Green said: “Most people are healthier for longer and so are able to extend their careers and take up new opportunities. Staying in work for a few more years can make a significant difference, not only to someone’s income but also their physical and mental health.
“I urge all businesses to reassess the value of older workers. Nobody should write off hiring someone due to their age, and it’s unacceptable that some older people are overlooked for roles they would suit completely.”
All of which is very noble, and indeed the 2011 abolition of the default retirement age also supports the aspirations of older generations who might risk being ‘managed out’ of the workplace into retirement.
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