Flexible working tops list for over-50s

Over-50s prefer flexible workingA recent poll by Saga Populus commissioned by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy revealed that 78per cent of respondents would rather work flexible hours.

Saga Populus interviewed 12,058 over 50-year olds in September. When asked what measures employers should implement to make workplaces more welcoming, almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of respondents said they wanted to see more part-time positions offered. More than three in five (63 per cent) suggest employers need to get better at offering training and retraining schemes to help older workers learn new skills and technology. Only 35per cent of respondents cited their health as the issue they worried most about, while 11per cent said the cost of social care was also a concern.

We’re all increasingly projected to live longer and with more people over 65s in employment government needs to look at how we can remove barriers to people working for as long as they want to work. The Ageing Society ‘Grand Challenge’ forms a key part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy. As a result, the government is considering creating a duty for employers to consider whether a job can be done flexibly and make that clear when advertising.

Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said,

More employers than ever are recognising the benefits of hiring older job applicants for the wealth of experience and knowledge they have to offer. Through our modern Industrial Strategy and our Ageing Society Grand Challenge we want to champion the role of older workers in the economy and ensure they have equal opportunities to both remain in and to find employment, so anyone who wants to can work for longer. Employers have an invaluable role to play in meeting the needs of older workers and we want to encourage employers, where possible, to adopt flexible working practices, which is why we have established a new Flexible Working Taskforce.

Andy Briggs, Chief Executive Officer, UK Insurance added,

In the UK there are more than 10 million people over 50 in employment. At Aviva, around one third of our 16,000 UK employees are aged 50 or over. We offer flexible working to all UK employees from day one. As an older worker myself, I have no intention of slowing down any time soon. I am as interested in learning new things as I always have been. It is important to ensure that age is no barrier to opportunity.

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