Employers ‘missing a trick’ by not offering flexibility to older workers, says CIPD

It is in employers’ interests to enable older workers to remain in employment for as long as possible, with more than half (56%) of those over the age of 55 planning to remain in work beyond state retirement age, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The claim was delivered as part of evidence given by the CIPD to the House of Lords’ Public Service and Demographic Change Select Committee included in a discussion on older workers and employment.

Dianah Worman, diversity adviser at the CIPD, said: “CIPD research shows that older workers are increasingly looking to extend their working lives, and by 2020 it is predicted that 36% of the working population will be aged over 50.

“As a result, those businesses that are proactive in addressing the challenges of an ageing workforce will gain a significant competitive edge, both in terms of recruiting and retaining talent, but also through supporting the wellbeing and engagement of employees of all ages.”

She added: “The business case for older workers is strong and research shows their impact and experience within the organisation enables better customer service, enhanced knowledge retention and can help to address talent and skills shortages. However, despite this, our research found that more than three-quarters (76%) of older workers reported that their employers had not made any reasonable adjustments to help them carry on working.

“Even though over half (52%) of older workers reported that the impact of ageing has only had a very small impact on their ability to do their job, some small changes to their workload, working hours or even working environment might enable them to remain longer in the workplace and possibly even increase their productivity. Many employers are missing a trick and losing key talent from their organisations by failing to offer flexibility in the workplace.”

For more information on this topic, see XpertHR’s legal Q&A on older employees.

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