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Many successful people continually need to be important and to make a contribution

This need could last throughout their lives and must be satisfied.

Working Better – The over 50s, the new work generation (Source: Alison Maitland

with the help of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Working Better team)

…Our research was based on a telephone survey of 1,500 people aged 50-75 about their working lives and aspirations….

…There are also aspiring entrepreneurs:

10 per cent of men and 7 per cent of women would like to set up their own business once they reach state pension age.


Many workers remain ambitious and want to continue developing their careers.

Just over one in ten people are dissatisfied because they want promotion and greater responsibility. By contrast, only 4 per cent said they would prefer to ‘downshift’ to a job with less seniority.

More affluent professionals increasingly seek fulfilment in their retirement, which might incorporate part-time work such as mentoring younger people.


Workplace-based solutions are critical

A large number of older people would like to carry on working; this requires more supportive policies and practices from employers. Employers with experience of employing mature workers say they offer knowledge and experience as well as loyalty, maturity, productivity, reliability and empathy with the growing population of mature customers. Yet approaches to retaining older employees, where they exist at all, often tend to be piecemeal rather than comprehensive.

Many older people are keen to work beyond retirement, but they clearly want to do so in a different way. Research points to flexibility – including phased retirement and working from home – as the key to extending working life. However, the evidence suggests that few employers have yet considered innovative work redesign to retain the knowledge and skills of older people. It is telling that 60 per cent of self-employed people over 50 say they are in their ideal job compared with only 42 per cent of employed workers, and that 82 per cent of the self-employed say their situation gives them more control over their hours of work. The benefits of greater flexibility would include:


Higher-quality work: Much of the increase in employment among the over 50s since the start of the century has been in low-paid, low-quality jobs with limited prospects. Flexible hours and location, work redesign and internal redeployment to roles such as training and mentoring would enable people to stay in higher-quality jobs rather than becoming marginalised in work that is well below the level of their skills and experience.



We need a wholesale re-evaluation by society of ageing as something that starts at birth, not arbitrarily at 50, 55 or 60. Our recommendations are designed to dispatch stereotypes about older people and open new horizons for the over 50s by enabling them to enjoy both quality jobs and quality lives. The successful extension of working life will depend on employment being both an attractive and a healthy option for people throughout their life cycle, including the later years.


To read the complete paper, please click on this link:


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