A new book examined pensions reforms measures in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the United States of America. It said that, despite differences in the pensions systems, similar measures had been taken to encourage or impose delayed take-up of state pensions, and it explored the underlying policy rationale and aims, and whether they addressed the same problem.
Source: Catherine Blair, Securing Pension Provision: The challenge of reforming the age of entitlement, Palgrave Pivot
A report examined the changing nature of the ageing workforce in the United Kingdom and considered the main challenges facing unions. The report made a range of recommendations, on topics including: the recognition of diversity within the older workforce; the tailoring of work to older workers; career development issues; and unemployment among older workers.
Source: Matt Flynn, Representing an Ageing Workforce: Challenges and opportunities for trade unions, Trades Union Congress
A report examined the extent to which employment support met the needs of older jobseekers. It made a range of recommendations to government, including: to prioritize older jobseekers within employment support; to improve the effectiveness of support delivered to older jobseekers; and to stimulate employer demand for older workers.
Source: Sarah Foster, Jane Colechin, Paul Bivand, and Rowan Foster, Employment Support for Unemployed Older People, Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion
An article examined how governments used powers afforded through business and welfare systems to affect change in the organizational management of older workers. Drawing on national stakeholder interviews in the United Kingdom and Japan, and the framework of Institutional Entrepreneurship, it said that although both governments had adopted a 'light-touch' approach to work and retirement, the highly institutionalized Japanese system afforded the government greater leverage in changing employer practices than that of the liberal UK system.
Source: Matthew Flynn, Heike Schroeder, Masa Higo, and Atsuhiro Yamada, 'Government as institutional entrepreneur: extending working life in the UK and Japan', Journal of Social Policy, Volume 43 Issue 3
A report examined the business case for older workers in the United Kingdom, and outlined government policy activity that was directed at the issue. New and ongoing policy rollouts (some of which related to the whole of the UK, others only to England) included: ongoing benefits changes, including the rollout of universal credit; a new national strategy; a new health and work service to provide occupational health assessment for older workers on extended sickness absence; extension of the right to request flexible working; the appointment of an older workers' employment champion, and campaigns to promote older workers to employers; changes to the state pension age (to 67) and to the eligibility for pension credit; and research in a range of areas, including pilots for the use of assistive technology for people with disabilities and their carers, trials of various provision for older jobseekers, trials of different forms of back-to-work and in-work support, and work to investigate the financial (dis)incentives for older workers. A second report, published alongside, set out the background research and statistics for this report.
Source: Fuller Working Lives ï¿½ A Framework for Action, Department for Work and Pensions
Source: Fuller Working Lives ï¿½ Background Evidence, Department for Work and Pensions
An article examined how work, marital, and fertility history affected the likelihood of women extending their employment beyond the state pension age. Women were extending paid work for financial reasons to make up for 'opportunity costs' as a result of their caring role within the family, with short breaks due to caring, lengthy marriages, divorcing, and remaining single with children all being important. On the other hand, lengthy detachment (due to caring) from the labour market made extending working life more difficult.
Source: Naomi Finch, 'Why are women more likely than men to extend paid work? The impact of work-family life history', European Journal of Ageing, Volume 11 Number 1
A survey for a trade union examined the workplace experiences of women aged over 50. The report said that over 60 per cent of women in this age group worked full-time, with a further 20 per cent working 25-34 hours per week and over half of women aged between 60 and 64 in full-time work. It said that 33 per cent of respondents would increase their hours if they could, but 40 per cent of those working full-time would like to reduce their hours. Most women did not feel that they had good promotion opportunities, and fewer than 50 per cent had said they had good opportunities for training. The report noted policy issues for the union to consider further.
Source: Women Deserve Better: A better deal for women aged 50 and over in employment, Labour Research Department/UNISON
An article examined the relationship between age and training in 15 European Union countries. Older people were less likely to participate in both training in general and work-related training.
Source: Fiona Carmichael and Marco Ercolani, 'Age-training gaps in the European Union', Ageing and Society, Volume 34 Issue 1
A report examined critical issues related to an ageing workforce in Northern Ireland, outlining the barriers faced by those wanting to continue working into older age, and their support, training, and policy needs. The report made recommendations for policy makers and employers.
Source: Ben Franklin, Working Longer in Northern Ireland: Valuing an ageing workforce, International Longevity Centre – UK
An article examined the extent to which becoming a grandparent affected early retirement in European countries. Becoming a grandparent was found to speed up retirement, especially at around the ages of 55 and 60. However, the effect was statistically significant only for women, not for men.
Source: Jan Van Bavel and Tom De Winter, 'Becoming a grandparent and early retirement in Europe', European Sociological Review, Volume 29 Number 6
A report examined the experiences in the workplace of women aged over 50. It said that workplace culture made it difficult for older women to balance their careers with caring responsibilities, which contributed to low pay at the end of their working lives and poverty in retirement. The report said that: the gender pay gap for women over 50 working full-time was twice as high as for younger women; almost half of women over 50 worked part-time; and the majority worked in the public sector, where they felt at risk from budget cuts. The report called for new employment rights, including carers' leave, and for a more enlightened and flexible response from employers.
Source: Age Immaterial: Women over 50 in the workplace, Trades Union Congress