Changes in lifestyle, caring responsibilities and difficulties in finding paid work are among the barriers to returning to the workforce faced by over 50s, research has found.
Many people aged 50-65 who left or lost their jobs since Covid-19 hit want to return to the workplace, with money being their main motivator, according to analysis by the Office for National Statistics.
Their reasons for not yet having returned were varied. Nearly one in five (18%) said they were still looking for paid work; 14% had caring responsibilities or needed to look after the home; and 11% were receiving financial support from their partner or family.
Almost a third who were open to returning to work had already retired, but a further 19% said a change in their lifestyle was a barrier to returning to work, accorrding to the ONS’ analysis of the over 50s lifestyle survey.
Those who were considering returning to work were on average younger: 61% were aged 50-59.
Recruitment of over 50s
Money was the most common reason for considering a return to work among those with a physical or mental health condition (67%), and those aged 50-54 (69%).
Among all survey participants considering a return to the workforce, only 61% said they would be able to afford an unexpected but necessary expense.
Asked why they had left their previous job, 24% said they had retired; 17% had changed their lifestyle; 17% had been made redundant; and 15% had left because of stress. A further 17% said they had left as a direct consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, though this rose to 21% among people with a physical or mental health condition.
Those who have returned to work since leaving their previous job during the pandemic were overall less likely to have health conditions or an illness, with 24% reporting having a disability, compared with 36% of those considering returning but had not.
Asked what kind of job they wanted to move into, 32% wanted to move into a role similar to the one they held previously and 37% wanted to switch occupations or sector.