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Centre for Ageing Better commissions research on how to make workplaces more age-friendly

News | Ageing Better | 13 July 2017

The Centre for Ageing Better has commissioned a team led by the University of Westminster to carry out employer focused research to better understand how we can make workplaces more age-friendly.

The multidisciplinary team from the University of Westminster, the University of Southampton, the University of Sussex, and Timewise, have a wealth of experience in ageing, employment, and employer engagement. They will bring together existing published evidence and quantitative data, along with their own surveys and in-depth qualitative research with employers and recruiters, to find out how employers can take action that makes a positive difference to their older employees. The research will focus on three important aspects of age at work:

  1. Facilitating and supporting flexible working
  2. Preventing age bias in recruitment
  3. Maximising the benefits of mixed-age teams

The reports will set out the key issues in each area, and what works to improve employer practice.

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

“We want more people to be in fulfilling work that supports a good later life, especially above the age of 50. We want to better understand what ‘good work’ looks like, whether employers are prepared for the realities of a longer working lives, and how we can ensure that workplaces are age-friendly. We are delighted to be working with Business in the Community and a knowledgeable research team to achieve this.”

Deborah Smeaton, Principal Research Fellow, the University of Westminster said:

“This is an exciting new project with employer engagement built in as a core component. In addition to reviewing ageing workforce issues the study will therefore also be designed to support businesses and promote good practice in a variety of contexts across the UK.  The team are happy to be involved in a project that is designed to make a difference”

Emma Stewart MBE, Joint CEO, Timewise said:

“When it comes to our ageing population and the opportunities for flexible working, the topic has never been more pertinent. We’re thrilled to be working with the Centre for Ageing Better and its wider research team to explore the barriers as well as the possible solutions, as to how employers can design roles with flexible working options to attract and retain our older workforce.”

Rachael Saunders, Age at Work Director, Business in the Community said:

“We are excited to be working with the Centre for Ageing Better and this great research partnership to apply evidence to our work with employers.  Business needs to retain, retrain and recruit older workers to respond to an ageing population – and this partnership is a great opportunity for us to make sure that the recommendations for action we make to business are evidence based.”

The Centre for Ageing Better have a partnership with Business in the Community and their age at work campaign – working with employers to draw together and share the evidence about age-friendly workplaces, learn from what leading employers are doing, and spread what works. Together with Business in the Community, we will use the findings to provide actionable, evidence-based guidance and resources to employers to help them become more age-friendly.

The research will begin in Summer 2017 and findings from the study are due to be published early in 2018.

Find out more about how the Centre for Ageing Better is working to help more people aged 50 years and over to be in fulfilling work that supports a good later life.