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People are living longer and therefore, they are working longer. According to the latest data from the ONS, there has been a rise in the number of over-50s in the workplace due to changes in the state pension age and shortfalls in pension payments.
People aged 50 and over have actually made up for around 80% of the total employment growth over the past decade – and there are a number of ways employers can utilise this new pool of resource.
1) Offer retraining
An older workforce will come packaged up with many years of experience, but retraining all of your workforce regularly will keep every one, of any age, on an even keel.
Although not applicable to all older workers, some may feel an attachment to older style management techniques. Dispensing with those through retraining is a great way to promote more modern and exciting new ways of managing people. Retraining can help disperse some of those mind sets, however, HR will need to be mindful how they support those who are attached to older management styles.
2) Age is just a number
According to the Government body for health and safety, HSE, 62% of over 50s describe themselves as “fitter than ever”, but HSE also recommends employers consider the activities that older workers do as part of a regular risk assessment. In other words, employers should not discriminate a person based on age, but organisations should make themselves more aware of their older workers’ physical and mental health needs as they can differ from those who are younger.
3) Be flexible
According to Carers UK, one in five people aged 50-64 in the UK are carers to an older family members. A third of the country’s 6.5 million informal carers are aged 65 and over, and 1 in 5 carers are forced to give up work altogether as they cannot cope with the struggle of balancing care with work . Providing flexible working and home working will be appealing to those who are potentially juggling care responsibilities, and also help out parents too.
If you would like some advice about introducing new policies into your workplace, or you think you might be involved in an age-related claim, contact the Employment team at Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.