Age-related issues avoided by employers

Just half of employers have a formal pro-age recruitment policy, and many are nervous about discussing age-related issues with workers as they approach retirement, according to a report by the Institute for Employment Studies and the Policy Studies Institute.

An Ageing Workforce – The Employer’s Perspective found that employers are happy to let staff work beyond the normal retirement age of 65, and many would welcome the abolition of the default retirement age.

The report revealed that employers need the right support if they are to get the best from mature workers, and that older employees not matching customer demographics, or having to cope with heavy manual work, were areas of concern.

Helen Barnes, principal research fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies and one of the report’s authors, added: “The number of older workers is rapidly increasing, so it’s essential that both employers and government tackle this issue. We have found that many organisations struggle to raise the issue of age in the workplace, as they are wary of causing offence or risking discrimination.”

In July, Personnel Today reported that the recession was making it difficult for older workers to hold on to their jobs.

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