The TUC is calling on the government to extend flexible working rights to the over-50s after new figures revealed more than one-third of UK workers believe they will be unable to do their job at 60 years old.
The statistics from the 2005 Working Conditions Survey, produced by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, show that the UK has slipped from first to sixth in the league table for the proportion of staff who are confident they will be up to their job when aged 60.
Germany tops the rankings with 73.6% of its workers believing they will still be able to perform, followed by The Netherlands (71.2%) and Sweden (69.7%). The UK has dropped to 63.5% - just above the EU15 average of 61%.
Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said. "If we are going to enable older people to stay in work and off benefits, employers are going to have to stop pushing them out on bogus health and safety grounds and work to keep them employed."
Strategies should include identifying and supporting training needs, and offering flexible working to 'downshift' towards retirement. Underpinning these measures should be the extension of flexible working to the over-50s and the right to training with paid time off.