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How flexible working can help our ageing workforce

According to a new study by job site RestLess, record numbers of people over the age of 70 are deciding against retirement and continue to work.

The study is backed by the Office of National Statistics, according to which almost half a million over 70 are currently in full-time or part-time employment- this is an increase of 135% since 2009.

Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less, said: “Whilst we know that the over-50s in general have been the driving force behind the UK’s impressive employment growth in recent years, our deeper analysis shows the hard work and significant economic contribution made by the rapidly growing numbers of over-70s in the workplace.

“Work patterns are changing – gone are the days of working hard five days a week for four and a half decades before suddenly stopping".

Patrick Thomson from the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “With fewer younger people starting work to replace those set to retire in future years, along with uncertainty over Brexit and worsening skills and labour shortages, it is vital that employers wake up and adopt age-friendly practices like flexible working to enable people to work for as long as they want.

“The face of Britain’s workforce is changing dramatically. We can’t afford to ignore our older workers.”

Currently, only 1 in 8 jobs in Scotland are advertised as flexible- locking out a significant proportion of candidates out of the job market. Many of these candidates are likely to be older workers, who might need flexibility for health reasons or caring responsibilities.

Employers need to adapt to this extremely rapid change in UK workforce by making workplaces more open, inclusive and flexible.

Read more about the study here.

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