One In Four Employers Offer Flexible Working To Older Staff

Survey Finds Many Still Failing To Consider Benefits For Ageing Workforce

12.01.2015

More than a quarter of employers have introduced flexible working initiatives to support their ageing workforce, according to new research - but many are still falling short when it comes to meeting older employees' needs.
 
Commissioned by Group Risk Development (Grid), the survey of 500 businesses found that since the abolishment of the Default Retirement Age in October 2011, 14% of employers have introduced different working patterns and additional training for older workers.
 
Additionally, more than a fifth of employers said dealing with an ageing workforce was one of their three top priorities, and 15% have refocused health and wellbeing initiatives to meet the needs of older staff.
 
Meanwhile, among the 1,000 employees polled, over a third believed they would need to supplement their pension by continuing to work later in life.
 
Katharine Moxham, a spokesperson for Grid, said it was encouraging to see some employers adjusting their policies, but the changes need to become more widespread.
 
"We still see a lot of employers which have not changed their benefit plans to accommodate older workers so it’s worth revisiting benefit provision to ensure that it fully reflects the business’s intentions around the needs of its ageing workforce," she said.

Expert Opinion
It is very positive to see many businesses taking steps to ensure that flexible working arrangements are available to all staff, regardless of their age.

"Small businesses should ensure that they fully understand the issues surrounding flexible working, as well as the advantages that such arrangements can offer. Providing a greater level of flexibility may be vital in ensuring that high quality talent and necessary skills can be brought into and retain by an organisation.

"Any smaller firms with concerns regarding the issue should not delay in seeking legal advice regarding the key regulations and policies they need to consider when looking at this issue."
Fergal Dowling, Partner