A return to work for retired employees?
Jeremy Hunt has urged older people to return to the workforce, saying the country needed them.
The Chancellor has addressed problems in the labour market in a speech that sought to set out his plans to tackle the country’s weak productivity levels and boost economic growth.
Data from the Office of National Statistics shows that approximately 1 million people in the UK have left work since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, with retirement the most popular reason given by people aged between 50-70.
A recent study from the Department of Work and Pensions found that over 75% of businesses agreed that “the experience of workers aged 50 or older was a main benefit of employing them in their organisation, followed by the reliability of workers in this age group and the mentoring older workers provide to new workers.”
However, if this is to happen, businesses will have to be clear of their offering to this age demographic and may wish to consider offering flexible working, clearly planned out rotas, adequate health benefits, and ensuring that older workers have equal access to training opportunities.
The other consideration is training for managers who are involved in the recruitment process. Employers considering applications from older workers need to make sure that those candidates are treated in the same way as others applying for the same job. It will be particularly important for employers to avoid stereotyping older workers and to ensure decisions are based on objective criteria. Older candidates should not be rejected because of a perception of on speed of work and use of technology – these criterial could be linked to allegations of age discrimination. Employers should ensure that they look to use age-neutral criteria when assessing the best candidate for the role.
If handled correctly, the return of older workers could solve a recruitment gap for many employers.
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