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Older worker

Ageing Better and Timewise partner with leading employers on a flexible working initiative

New partnership with Timewise and leading employers announced to enable fairer access to flexible working for older workers.

The organisations will be working with Guys & St Thomas' Hospital and Legal & General to develop new, innovative way of bringing practical changes to other workplaces.

The Centre for Ageing Better and Timewise announce partnership with leading employers to enable fairer access to flexible working for older workers. 

Flexible working is important for workers of all ages: It can help older workers balance caring responsibilities or personal health circumstances; enable a phased transition to retirement and is a key part of being an age-friendly employer

However, not all older workers are able to access all the benefits that good, quality flexible working opportunities can bring. Individual, managers or policies might restrict people’s access, uptake and sustainability of flexible work.  

The Centre for Ageing Better is keen to establish how line managers, job design and organisational change can best support older workers to work flexibly. Crucially, looking to find out which practical steps and guidance employers can take to bring about these changes.  

Ageing Better will be working with Timewise to carry out insight and design work with a range of large employers. They’ll be working on detailed pilots with two leading employers in Guys & St Thomas’ Hospital and Legal & General.  By working with these leading employers they hope to develop new, innovative ways of bringing about practical changes to other workplaces. Furthermore, they’ll be working with a wider advisory group of employers including Leeds City Council and Whitbread.  

They have also commissioned the Tavistock Institute as an evaluation partners - findings from the Timewise pilots will be shared in 2020 and the evaluation findings in 2021. 

Patrick Thomson, Senior Programme Manager, Centre for Ageing Better, said:

“With one in four people in the UK saying they couldn’t do the job they’re currently in by the time they’re 60, the way we think about work as we age needs to change. Flexible working can be one of the best routes to supporting people to work for longer and for employers to retain skilled and experienced employees.  

Changing health, financial or caring priorities at home or at work, can lead to people wanting to rebalance the way they work. However, individuals don’t always feel able to access the benefits that well-designed, flexible work can bring, and employers don’t always know how to best support them. 

We’re delighted to be partnering with Timewise and leading employers on this important project to develop practical guidance, tools and new ways of thinking for ensuring that flexible working becomes the standard for any age-friendly employer.”  

Dr Charlotte Gascoigne, Director of Research and Consultancy, Timewise Foundation, said:

“Creating more flexible roles for over 50s will help people stay in work longer and enable employers to retain and attract the experienced workforce they need.   We are really pleased to be partnering with the Centre for Ageing Better to support older workers and their employers to create flexible roles, and to help both access the benefits.  Timewise welcomes Guy’s and St Thomas’ Trust and Legal & General as the first pioneering employers to take part in our pilot and looks forward to sharing the results when the work is complete.”  

Lynn Demeda, Director of Workforce Programmes, Guys and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are delighted to be part of this important work and it fits well with our People Strategy around offering a range flexible employment opportunities to enhance staff recruitment, retention and ultimately patient experience.  We are particularly keen to test job redesign principles and how this may unlock some flexible working challenges for over 50s staff and share learning across our organisation and beyond. Supporting a healthy and happy working life for all is good for our staff and our patients.” 

Phil Anderson, COO, Legal & General Retirement Institutional, said:

“At Legal & General Retirement Institutional, agile working is now commonplace but our research told us that we needed to enable more flexible working. As we recognise the many benefits that can arise from flexible working, we are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to work with Timewise and the Centre of Ageing Better to pilot a flexible working scheme for our over 50 employees.  

Further research and insight into how flexible working works in our organisation will enable us to develop the tools we need to support more flexible working in the future. This is the first time we have focussed on a particular group of people, but this pilot will drive changes and form part of a wider piece of work to review flexible working across our entire workforce and contribute to our objective to create a ‘Great People Experience' for our employees."

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