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Supporting an ageing workforce

The UK labour market is starting to show signs of recovery from the impact of the pandemic particularly with older people in what could be a response to the current cost of living crisis. Between April and June 2022, the number of people aged 65 and over in employment increased by a record 173,000 on the previous quarter, to reach 1.468 million – another record level.

Recent figures released from the Labour Force Survey published by the Office for National Statistics,** showed that between April and June 2022, the number of people aged 65 and over in employment increased by a record 173,000 on the previous quarter, to reach 1.468 million – another record level.

Working in age-diverse teams brings benefits, including fresh perspectives, knowledge-sharing and improved problem-solving. Older workers can bring experience and knowledge from many years of working over their lives. When the pandemic kicked off the ‘Great Resignation’ businesses began to struggle to fill vacancies, especially in more manual positions such as cleaning, facilities management and construction, this continues to be the case, but more and more we are seeing the older generation step in to fill these roles when traditionally, it would be retirement time for them.

Many older people are choosing to work in part-time or flexible roles serving the ‘gig economy’ and in stark contrast to the younger generations coming through, the more senior recruits are more likely to stay put in their roles and not contribute to the employment ‘churn’ statistics. So, how should an ageing workforce be supported by employers in a world where many industries are struggling to fill jobs?

Recruiting and then retaining staff is a hot topic across the whole employment spectrum for any age group. Businesses need to give their recruits a real reason to stay with them and not flip to the next similar role that perhaps pays slightly more per hour. Those companies who offer benefits on top of wages and salaries for example, will stand more of a chance of keeping hold of a worker if they are feeling valued, looked after and provided with future opportunities. Initiatives such as employee engagement, wellbeing and working hour flexibility all help towards building a consistent workforce who can develop skills as they progress and be trained to work with new technology and equipment.

It's important that employers encourage inclusive working practices and skill-sharing across all ages. For older workers, a supportive environment also means that (re-)training and upskilling opportunities are available where they are required. Investing in skills development for older workers, with their wealth of knowledge, can be key to the future success of a company.

Richard Onions, Ezitracker Customer Success Manager said:

“In the current economic and social climate, it’s vital we don’t fall into the trap of making sweeping assumptions about someone’s ability to undertake their role, particularly a physical job, purely based on age. To do so could present employers with claims for age and/or disability discrimination, affecting their reputation. Many older workers remain fully capable of delivering their duties right up until they decide to leave or retire.

It's all about supporting this generation of a workforce, almost two thirds (60%)* of UK employees say they’d be more inclined to work for an employer that supported their health and wellbeing when thinking about working past 65.”

By adapting and providing more aging-friendly support, employers will be in a better place to engage, retain and support workers valuable to their own business and in turn, the whole economy.

Ezitracker offers a number of time and attendance solutions to support and manage remote workforces. 





https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/uklabourmarket/october2022 **