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How Old Are Your Carers?
The Government must see opportunities for older people because they have just appointed a business champion for older workers, the ex-Director General of Saga, Dr Ros Altmann CBE.
With nearly three million people aged between 50 and 65, not in work, older people represent a largely untapped resource. A wise organisation looks regularly at the market; in this context the labour market merits attention.
Does age cause difficulties?
There is a temptation to see health issues, physical, and even mental capability, as issues for older workers. While this may be true, they can be addressed with appropriate procedures, just as the issues arising from the young worker who was out until 3am the night before can. We have not seen a spate of tribunal claims from older workers being dismissed – as was predicted when the compulsory retirement was abolished.
And older workers represent an increasing proportion of the population, with many in very reasonable health. In 1926, when men’s state pension age was determined as 65, only a third of men reached it. Today the equivalent figure is 75 years, so 75 is the new 65.
Notice too, an outbreak of entrepreneurship among those in their sixties, which shows ability and capability is not confined to those in their twenties.
Supervising older workers may be a challenge but it is really a question of good management skills. Can you manage your parents??
So what are the benefits?
- Experience Typically 40 + years work experience.
- Less training Life experience provides good training.
- More reliable Commercial companies report this as being so.
- Happier According to the Office of National Statistics those age 65 to 79 report the highest levels of happiness. Useful to pass on to service users?
- Social interaction Loneliness is a risk for many stable older people; work provides social interaction and a sense of worth and structure to life. All positive qualities for an employer.
- May be available as volunteers Charitable foundations may be able to take advantage of such opportunities.
Malcolm Martin of Employer Solutions – QCS Expert Human Resources Contributor