Companies failing to provide for ageing workforce

30 Dec 2019

To get the most out of your investment in employee benefits, it makes sense to tailor what you offer to the needs of your workforce and your business.

However, new research suggests that many organisations are neglecting the needs of their older employees.

Seven in 10 companies in the UK are not making provision for dealing with an ageing workforce, Towergate Health & Protection found.

The number of older workers is increasing: according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there are more than 10 million people aged over 50 in employment.

Over-50s now make up around one third of the UK workforce, up from one in five in the early 1990s.

This means that baby boomers (aged 51-74) are one of the largest demographics in the workplace, and they have quite specific needs, Towergate Health & Protection explained.

For example, although they may be close to paying off mortgages and saving for retirement, they can still have significant financial obligations, including funding eldercare, helping children get on the property ladder and supporting grandchildren.

These responsibilities can cause anxiety and stress, while physical conditions can start to become an issue and can also affect mental wellbeing.

Specific benefits that are relevant to older employees might include group critical illness, fast-track access to physio and rehab, bereavement support and dealing with probate, as well as flexible working and workplace adjustments for those with health needs or caring responsibilities. These should be considered alongside the more traditional benefits.

Brett Hill, distribution director at Towergate Health & Protection said: "This generation isn't always the most vocal about what support they need, but -- like all generations -- the better they're looked after, the more engaged and productive they are."

The survey found that 84% of companies offer private medical insurance (PMI), 76% offer an employee assistance programme and 63% offer a healthcare cash plan.

Other benefits provided include dental insurance (58%), health screening (55%), travel insurance (39%) and international PMI (21%).

Hill added: "It's great to see that physical and mental health is being so widely supported, but for employers to really get value from their benefits it's important that what they offer is relevant to their particular workforce."

At Fidelius, we create employee benefits solutions that are tailored to your precise needs and help you deliver your strategic HR and business objectives. Get in touch with us today to learn more!