02 July 2019 | Marino Donati
Flexible working is an important key to retaining older workers, reveals research by Canada Life Group Insurance.
Its study shows that almost three-quarters (71 per cent) of survey respondents were planning to work past the age of 65.
However, 41 per cent were concerned that health issues might make it difficult to work longer, with 14 per cent planning to switch jobs after 65 because their current job was too physically demanding (22 per cent) or too stressful (20 per cent).
Response to Canada Life's research indicates that flexible working (32 per cent) and appropriate workplace benefits (16 per cent) were the best ways to attract and support older workers and could help to resolve problems such as a stressful or excessive workload.
An ageing population provides employers with the opportunity to tap into the value of an underused talent pool, says the study. It found that a quarter (27 per cent) of respondents thought their boss viewed older workers as a 'hassle' because of potential health struggles. Despite these negative perceptions, employers do value older workers' experience (43 per cent) and loyalty (40 per cent), it adds.
Employers that are keen to retain older workers must address the potential barrier that health concerns could have, points out the study, citing the average cost of £30,000 to replace an employee.
Paul Avis, marketing director of Canada Life Group Insurance said: "They [older workers] also represent a valuable talent pool for employers as Britain struggles to counter a growing skills shortage. It's an unfortunate fact of life that health concerns tend to become more frequent as we age, and will become more common in the workforce as we live and work for longer.
"Workers over the age of 65 therefore have a more immediate need for employee benefits that provide both financial and emotional support should they become ill or suffer an injury."