‘Flexible working vital for older workers’

older woman


Two-fifths of employees believe that flexible and part-time working are vital when it comes to supporting an ageing workforce, according to research by Canada Life Group Insurance.

Its survey of 1,004 UK employees also found that 72% of respondents plan to work beyond the age of 65, with 47% of these respondents believing they will be over the age of 70 before they retire. Around 17% of respondents expect to be older than 75 by the time they retire.

The survey also found only 13% of respondents think that employers are encouraging older employees to stay in the workplace, and just 15% feel that older people are appreciated and respected in the working environment. A mere 6% of respondents think the government is helping to promote older employees. Some 36% of respondents believe that an ageing workforce might mean that older employees will have to re-train or learn new skills to stay in work, while 30% who feel an ageing workforce could make it harder for young employees to move up the career ladder.

Moreover, 41% of respondents think that a mix of older and younger employees creates a workforce with a wider range of skills. Ninety per cent cite the rising cost of living as the main reason why they expect to work beyond the age of 65, compared to 87% who think that poor returns on savings due to low interest rates will impact on their retirement age.

Paul Avis, marketing director at Canada Life Group Insurance, said: “This is the second year in a row that our findings indicate that more than 70% of the country’s workforce expect to work beyond the age of 65, and there is no sign that this trend will slow down any time soon.

“But even as an older workforce becomes more common, the stigma surrounding older [employees] is proving hard to shake. Employers now have the opportunity to capitalise on the skills of two or even three generations, but only if they address potential generational divides and the changing needs of their employees.”


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