16 Apr 2019
The Centre for Ageing Better responds to the final report of the Resolution Foundation investigation into securing full employment.
The report calls for a new focus on boosting labour market participation rather than just reducing the out-of-work benefits bill. Resolution Foundation analysis shows that three-quarters of the 2.4 million workless people were economically inactive rather than unemployed, so had little interaction with the benefits system.
The report also states that disabled and older workers should be offered more help to stay in employment, and calls for new rights to help prevent ill-health or caring responsibilities spelling the end of the working lives for older people.
Patrick Thomson, Senior Programme Manager at the Centre for Ageing Better, said:
“Enabling people aged 50 and over to stay in work if they choose to do so is critical for a good later life. Work is not only financially important, but also affects people’s social connections, health and personal wellbeing. We therefore welcome this study and its call to support older people to take a fulfilling and active role in the workplace.
"While the employment rate for over 50s has been showing positive signs of growth, the averages mask inequalities, with many people facing barriers to the labour market or working fewer hours than they would like. Our own research and segmentation of the over 50 population shows that there is a sizeable minority of people who are ‘struggling and alone’. Many of this group have experienced health problems throughout their life, which have affected their ability to work, led to financial insecurity and reduced their social connections.
"The Centre for Ageing Better is working to develop new approaches to support people aged 50 and over back in to work. We are also working with employers to build the evidence base for better support for people aged 50 and over who are already in work. This will help us to understand how to shift employer attitudes and workplace culture so that there is greater choice and opportunity for individuals who want to work in later life.”