Kavitha’s keynote: Employee benefits keep one in six at work after 65

Kavitha's keynote

Around seven in 10 UK employees expect to work past the age of 65, while almost two in five anticipate retiring after they turn 75, research from Canada Life Group Insurance revealed earlier this week.

More than 70% of those set to continue working beyond their 65th birthday attribute this to the rising cost of living, while 62% blame a poor return on savings.

One in three admit that they need to work for longer because they lack sufficient pension pots, but on a more positive note, three in 10 plan to continue their employment because they enjoy their work. Interestingly, 17% are making the choice because they want to carry on receiving employee benefits.

Paul Avis, Canada Life Group Insurance’s marketing director, is urging employers to take note of the growing number of individuals who are planning to work beyond 65 because they find their jobs rewarding. He believes these people can be a good influence on the rest of the workforce and is encouraging employers to look at ways they can retain them.

Indeed, few would argue that individuals who enjoy their work are worth keeping. The issue for many employers will be how they can help those who may not be physically able to work past 65 adequately save for their retirement while they are employed.

In other news, the Court of Appeal has decided that men taking shared parental leave cannot be compared to women on maternity leave, because the purpose of the latter is partly to help new mothers recover from pregnancy and childbirth.

The judgment, issued on Friday 24 May 2019, dismissed appeals in two sex discrimination cases: Ali v Capita Customer Management and The Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police v Anthony Hextall. Both cases examined whether it is unlawful sex discrimination to pay men on shared parental leave less than women on maternity leave under the Equality Act 2010.

Beverley Sunderland, managing director at Crossland Employment Solicitors, said: “The Court of Appeal has emphasised that maternity leave is not there for the care of the child, but the health and protection of the mother, to deal with the trauma of having a child.”

A key concern for many of those following the two legal cases was that, if judged to be sex discrimination, the real effect of the ruling would be for employers to reduce or rescind their enhanced maternity leave policies, rather than enhance their paternity or shared provisions.

For this reason, I am inclined to share the opinion that, while the Court of Appeal decision may initially seem unfair, the practical outcome is a positive one.

Kavitha Sivasubramaniam
Tweet: @kavithasiva_EB