A little over half of UK employers claim to have a pro-age recruitment policy in place, however, many are nervous about discussing the topic of age with older workers approaching retirement, new research has found.
According to a study from the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and the Policy Studies Institute entitled An Ageing Workforce – The Employer’s Perspective, many employers are willing to make adjustments in order to improve retention of staff, if the issue is brought up with them.
Furthermore, many managers stated they were happy for their staff to continue working over the age of retirement, with some also stating they would like to see the statutory age of retirement removed.
Helen Barnes, principal research fellow at the IES and one of the report’s authors, stated that the number of older workers in the UK is "rapidly increasing" and that it is essential that both employers and the government tackle this issue.
"We have found that many organisations struggle to raise the issue of age in the workplace, as they are wary of causing offence or risking discrimination," she added.
Shadow chancellor George Osborne announced at the recent Conservative Party Conference that the age of retirement is likely to be raised to 66 "no earlier" than by 2016 for men, should the party win the next general election.