Flexible working to support ageing workforce

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Over a quarter of employers (27%) have introduced flexible working initiatives to meet the needs of their ageing workforce, new research from Group Risk Development (GRiD), the trade body for the group risk industry, has found.

Since the abolishment of the Default Retirement Age, most employers are looking at ways to accommodate older members of staff and keep their business running smoothly, with 19% modifying roles and 16% changing procedures to ensure the needs of older workers are met.

A further 14% have introduced different working patterns, such as more frequent breaks, and 10% have bought in training for older workers to ensure they feel as up to speed as younger staff.

Of the employers questioned, 11% have seen an increase in absence rates due to an older workforce, while 20% have seen a rise in age-related conditions such as diabetes and arthritis – though 15% have refocused their health, wellbeing and absence initiatives in order to better manage these members of staff. 59% have not yet seen any change in absence rates whatsoever, even though the average age of their workforce has increased.

When asked what their priorities around health and wellbeing were, 22% of employers said dealing with an ageing workforce was among their top three.