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CIPD urges employers to adapt to ageing population

Employers must enable older people to stay in work for as long as possible, the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) has urged.

Giving evidence to the House of Lords Public Service and Demographic Change Select Committee, the CIPD highlighted that 56% of workers aged over 55 plan to work beyond the state retirement age.

Dianah Worman, diversity adviser at CIPD said: “CIPD research shows that older workers are increasingly looking to extend their working lives and by 2020 it is predicted that 36% of the working population will be aged over 50. As a result those businesses that are proactive in addressing the challenges of an ageing workforce will gain a significant competitive edge, both in terms of recruiting and retaining talent, but also through supporting the well-being and engagement of employees of all ages.”

The CIPD stated that small changes to workload, working hours or even working environment could help enable elderly workers to remain in employment for longer. A lack of awareness in employers around the issues of an ageing population was the “main barrier” to managing an ageing workforce successfully.

Worman continued: “The business case for older workers is strong and research shows their impact and experience within the organisation enables better customer service, enhanced knowledge retention and can help to address talent and skills shortages.

“Many employers are currently missing a trick and are losing key talent from their organisations by failing to offer flexibility in the workplace.

“The Government has a role to play in increasing awareness about these issues and sign-posting employers to information and best practice on how to manage older workers successfully.”

Lord Filkin, chair of the select committee, speaks about the challenges and opportunities involved in changing demography and public services in the Nov/Dec 2012 edition of Public Sector Executive. Visit

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