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Employee Benefits News

Latest News
29 Dec 2014

How Companies Can Adapt To An Ageing Workforce

With the Office for National Statistics predicting that there will be 3.7 million more workers aged 50 and over within the next ten years, it´s clear that Britain´s working population is getting older. At the same time, there is expected to be 700,000 less people aged 16-41 in work; this means that employers will need to adapt to these demographic changes. A recent article on Personnel Today looked at how businesses can do exactly that.

Training and development

A recent survey of SMEs found that many employers agreed that training and skills development is crucial for older employees up to - and beyond - the age of 60; what´s more, they also felt that this offered a good return on investment.

The Equality Act 2010 states that training should be offered to all ages of the workforce to avoid discrimination and age-based assumptions. Meanwhile, employees don´t have to undertake the training, but employers can insist they do so if their work is unsatisfactory.

Health and wellbeing

Health and wellbeing strategies can be particularly beneficial for older staff members - although again, they should be offered to everybody. Studies show that 50% of those aged between 50 and the state pension age have long term health concerns; and 70% of depression cases for this age group are due to poor health.

Providing healthcare benefits can be expensive for employers - but not as much as sickness, low productivity and high staff turnover, which cost UK businesses around £26 billion per year.

Retirement income

It´s likely that with an ageing workforce, employers will become more involved in their staff´s retirement plans. In fact, Pensions Insight recently found that 38% felt a high level of responsibility for financial planning of this kind, while 71% were planning to change the options for defined contribution arrangements.

More of the UK workforce is likely to use defined contributions, as they require flexible working to care for their parents (who are living for longer) but also need to work to provide for their children and grandchildren.

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