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Aurora Financial Planning
Aurora Financial Planning

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Workplace challenges for older workers

One in three could not carry out current jobs past their traditional retirement age

Employers estimate up to a third of their staff would struggle to continue in their current jobs past traditional retirement ages, research for MetLife Employee Benefits[1] shows. Its nationwide study found HR directors believe that, on average, 31% of their current workforce would not be able to perform their jobs adequately once they reach normal retirement ages, even though 54% of them expect an increase in the proportion of older staff.

Positive attitude
32% of employers say their workplace has a positive attitude to older workers, with 54% saying their company is neutral on the issue. Just 12% of companies questioned admit people in their workplace have a negative attitude to older workers.

Career progression
Among concerns cited by HR directors was a rise in absence – 10% believe older workers will take more time off and 6% believe the rise in older workers will make career progression and recruitment more difficult.

Demographic changes
Employers are on the front line and need to respond positively to the demographic changes now seen in the workforce. It’s encouraging that there are mainly positive attitudes but there is still an undercurrent of concern and misguided thinking that could inhibit positive change. Older workers have a tremendous amount to offer and shouldn’t be seen as a problem but as a solution to many workplace challenges.

Insurance products like income protection could help significantly not just in terms of managing absence but also in terms of services and online support for healthy living.

[1]Research conducted by Atomik Research among 214 HR directors across a nationally representative sample of companies ranked by number of employees between 7–10 March 2014.