45% think flexible working is important in supporting an ageing workforce

Paul Avis ageing workforce

More than two-fifths (45%) of respondents believe that flexible working or part-time opportunities are of the highest importance when it comes to supporting an ageing workforce, according to research by Canada Life Group Insurance.

Its survey of 1,004 full and part-time UK employees also found that, of the respondents that plan to work beyond the state pension age, 60% claim they would be more likely to work for an employer that offered health and wellbeing benefits.

The research also found:

  • 72% of respondents will work beyond the age of 65, with 47% of these respondents believing they will be over the age of 70 before they retire. Around 17% of respondents expect to be older than 75 by the time they retire.
  • 13% of respondents think that employers are encouraging older employees to stay in the workplace, and 15% feel that older people are appreciated and respected in the working environment.
  • 6% of respondents think the government is helping to promote older employees.
  • 36% of respondents believe that an ageing workforce might mean that older employees will have to re-train or learn new skills to stay in work, while 30% who feel an ageing workforce could make it harder for young employees to move up the career ladder.
  • 41% of respondents think that a mix of older and younger employees creates a workforce with a wider range of skills.
  • 90% of respondents cite the rising cost of living as the main reason why they expect to work beyond the age of 65, compared to 87% who think that poor returns on savings due to low interest rates will impact on their retirement age.

Paul Avis (pictured), marketing director at Canada Life Group Insurance, said: “This is the second year in a row that our findings indicate that more than 70% of the country’s workforce expect to work beyond the age of 65, and there is no sign that this trend will slow down any time soon.

“But even as an older workforce becomes more common, the stigma surrounding older [employees] is proving hard to shake. Employers now have the opportunity to capitalise on the skills of two or even three generations, but only if they address potential generational divides and the changing needs of their employees.

“Alongside promoting the benefits of a more diverse workforce, organisations can attract and retain older [employees] by offering employee benefits packages which include products such as income protection and critical illness cover that protect staff financially in the event of ill health. As people get older, the need for these immediate health benefits grows, as does the value that employees place on them. These benefits packages also include a wide range of support services, from early intervention to employee assistance programmes and second medical opinion services, all of which can be used without being a claimant and so add additional, daily value to workforces.”