Calls For Longer Working Life

Employees should be offered greater flexibility if they decide to work past retirement age, a Equality Commission reports has said.

Under a raft of proposals, the Commission called for the abolition of the default retirement age.

In addition to extending of the right to request flexible work patterns, the Commission said an overhaul of employer recruitment practices is needed to to prevent discrimination.

The report comes as the Lords today have the opportunity to remove the default retirement age through the Equality Bill.

Research from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research shows that extending working lives by 18 months would inject £15 billion into the British economy.

A new survey carried out for the Commission into older workers’ aspirations found 24% of men and 64% of women say they plan to keep working beyond the state pension age.

Most older Britons do not want to slow down, many want job promotions and others wish to work well beyond the state pension age, the Commission said.

Older workers told the Commission that flexibility in hours and locations was crucial to keeping them in the workforce longer.

Eighty-five per cent of people not working and over the state pension age say greater availability of part-time or flexible jobs would help them gain a job.

Financial necessity is the most important reason to continue working.

Baroness Prosser, Deputy Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: "Radical change is what older Britons are telling us needs to happen for them to stay in the workforce.

"Employers with a focus on recruiting and retaining older workers on flexible working arrangements are telling us it makes good business sense, allowing them to recruit and retain talent while meeting the flexible needs of their customers.

"Keeping older Britons healthy and in the workforce also benefits the economy more broadly by decreasing welfare costs and increasing the spending power of older Britons."


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