Charity issues ‘wake-up call’ to help older workforce
Companies have been urged to rethink how they support older workers, especially those managing health problems or caring responsibilities.
A new report by the charity Centre for Ageing Better warns the number of number of people aged 65 and over is set to grow by more than 40% in the next two decades, and top 17 million by 2036.
The State of Ageing in 2019 report also reveals the number of workers in the UK aged over 50 years has risen by 2.4 million in the last decade and now stands at 10.4 million.
According to the charity, this is equivalent to nearly a third of the UK workforce and is a proportion set to grow as people live and work for longer.
But despite this, nearly a third (over 3.5 million) of 50-64 year olds in the UK are not in work – more than the entire population of Wales.
It adds that more than one in five people aged 55-64 in England have a health problem, which limits the kind of or amount of work they can do.
It calls on companies to do more to support people to keep working in fulfilling jobs as long as they want, especially those managing health problems or caring responsibilities, enabling them to save more for their later life.
The report adds employers must adopt age-friendly practices, such as stopping age bias in recruitment, improving provision of flexible working and continuing to offer training and progression for workers of all age
“Living for longer can provide us with huge opportunities to enjoy ourselves and spend time doing the things we love,” said Centre for Ageing Better Chief Executive, Dr Anna Dixon.
“But this report is a wake-up call for us all – many people in their 50s and 60s now, particularly those who are less well-off, simply won’t get the quality of later life that they expect or deserve.
“We must act now to add life to our years; to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to make the most of a longer life. Without radical action today to help people age well, we are storing up problems for the future and leaving millions at risk of poverty and poor health in later life,” adds Dr Dixon.