EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

Active ageing

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Flexible solutions for all

Active ageingEuropeans are living longer than ever before, on average 8-9 years more than in 1960. The increased lifespan is great news but also poses many questions for individuals, their families and for social systems. Other demographic developments reinforce the challenges: fewer children are being born which means fewer people paying into state pension and healthcare systems, and a smaller pool of potential carers, be they family members or professional carers.

Rethinking ageing

Policymakers are beginning to reconsider the role of older people in society as both providers and consumers, the so-called silver economy. If current levels of productivity and pensions are to be maintained, more people will have to work for longer.

Active ageingSome Member States have already moved to raise the retirement age or sought to encourage workers to stay in their jobs longer. This promotion of employment opportunities for an ageing workforce requires rethinking at company, national and EU level. This means introducing policies that maintain and promote the health of employees, develop and update the skills of older workers through training and provide them with suitable working conditions.

Business is increasingly taking a more differentiated approach towards older people, be it as potential customers with considerable spending power or as valuable resources in the workplace in terms of skills and knowledge.

Foundation research addresses these aspects in its research and provides individuals, companies and policymakers with relevant information, examples of good practice and strategies for change in the workplace.