More than a third of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not have any health and wellbeing benefits in place, according to research by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Its Age diversity in SMEs: reaping the benefits research, which surveyed nearly 600 senior decision makers in SMEs across the UK, found that a third of respondents do not offer any support for the extension of working life.
However, the research found that small businesses believe that an age-diverse workforce benefits an organisation with improved knowledge sharing, better problem solving skills and a more enhanced customer service.
It also found that less than a third of respondents provide the option of flexible working to all their employees, while only a quarter support childcare and a fifth support the caring of elderly dependents.
Nearly two-thirds (60%) of respondents have never recruited mature workers over the age of 65.
Dianah Worman (pictured), public policy advisor at the CIPD, said: “Our research into age diversity in SMEs paints a largely positive picture.
“It’s good to see that small businesses, just like their large business peers, clearly see the benefits of an age-diverse workforce.
“Some are working hard to cater for different workers of different ages but, on the whole, we found that small businesses have a lot more to do if they are to tap into the full range of benefits an age diverse workforce can bring.
“Employers are currently missing a trick by not offering flexible working to all employees and by not adapting to the changing needs of a changing workforce.
“Healthcare, provision for employees with caring responsibilities – these are just some of the many things SMEs need to be thinking about now to prepare for the future.
“Failure to do so could mean they miss out on the full range of talent available, putting their businesses at a serious competitive disadvantage.”