Browse by subject - Ageing and work
25 April 2013: Inequality and discrimination in employment still high (Bulgaria / Information update)
A survey to investigate equality and discrimination in the workplace in Bulgaria has revealed that age, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation are the most frequently cited grounds for discrimination in the workplace. Age discrimination is more common against those over the age of 50 than against the youngest workers. Different sexual orientation is considered a potential problem by 40% of people surveyed in big companies, and by 52% of employers of smaller enterprises.
08 April 2013: Challenges of an ageing population (Estonia / Information update)
A study by Estonia’s Centre of Applied Social Sciences looks at older people in the labour market and shows that overall awareness of the challenges society faces due to the ageing population is very low. Based on the results, researchers recommend improving measures designed to keep workers in the job market for longer. These include life-long learning initiatives, more flexible working conditions and preventative health care measures.
03 December 2012: Employers positive about recruiting young workers (United Kingdom / Information update)
Employers in the UK believe they have a part to play in tackling youth unemployment, according to a report by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development. The report shows employers that have recruited a young worker in the past year are generally positive about that worker. But only 56% of employers intend to recruit a young worker in the next year. Apprenticeships were also praised, although concerns have been raised over equality issues that surround them in the UK.
03 May 2012: Rise in age-related discrimination at work (Czech Republic / Information update)
Most of the respondents to the ‘Trends’ survey carried out by the Centre of Empirical Studies (STEM) in April 2011 believed that some groups of people are discriminated against at work. The extent of the problem in the Czech Republic has increased significantly in the last year. Discrimination on the grounds of age was considered to be ‘very frequent’ by almost half of respondents. State of health and motherhood/pregnancy were the next most common reasons for discrimination at work.
09 March 2012: Responding to an ageing workforce: Experiences of 50+ jobseekers (United Kingdom / Information update)
Abolition of the default retirement age and a rise in state pension age are expected to lead to longer working lives. Three additional support mechanisms for jobseekers aged over 50 were introduced in April 2010 through Jobcentre Plus. A report by the Department for Work and Pensions on the experience of 50+ jobseekers who had been offered this support revealed strong demand for and a positive response to these specific measures but questioned their effectiveness.
09 March 2012: Collaboration for a good working environment (Norway / Information update)
Results from the Norwegian project ‘3-2-1 Together for a good working environment – 3 parties, 2 branches, 1 goal’ demonstrate that tripartite collaboration works when there is mutual understanding of roles and responsibilities among managers and safety representatives. A good safety culture and agreement on more inclusive working, together with greater focus on middle managers, led to a better working environment and reduced absenteeism in meat companies and nursing homes.
23 February 2012: Educated and healthy older people are more active (Estonia / Information update)
A recent study in Estonia investigated how educational achievement affected the lives of older people aged 50–74, particularly their financial situation and their health. The results showed that the more educated a person is, the better their health and the more actively they take part in different areas of life, and the more ready they are to continue working after retirement age. It was also revealed that a person’s interest in continuing to work grows as they get older.
23 February 2012: Eurobarometer survey examines active ageing (EU Level / Information update)
A new Eurobarometer survey examined active ageing in the EU, including attitudes to the workplace, career end and pensions. Barriers to older workers functioning in the labour market included a lack of training, a lack of flexibility to reduce working hours, and negative perceptions on the part of employers. The overall view was that the retirement age should be equal for men and women, but that individuals should be allowed to work beyond retirement age if they wished.
10 February 2012: Effects of physically demanding work on older workers (France / Information update)
The Health and Career (SIP) survey 2007 shows that 35% of older workers have been exposed to at least one type of physical difficulty at work for at least fifteen years. These people are less likely to be in good health and also less likely to be in employment than older workers who are not in jobs that expose them to physical risk. This suggests that persistent physical demands or difficulties at work may be damaging to health and could lead to an early exit from the job market for some workers.
06 January 2012: Unions’ role in combating workplace discrimination (Malta / Information update)
An EU-funded study examined the role of Maltese trade unions in combating discrimination in the workplace on the grounds of race, disability, religion, sexual orientation and age. The study was based mostly on interviews with three of the largest unions about their policies and practices on anti-discrimination and diversity. The unions were aware of equality issues to a certain extent but did not seem to have specific strategies to combat discrimination in general.
06 January 2012: Fall in uptake of early retirement schemes (France / Information update)
To encourage the employment of older workers, the public authorities in France have drastically reduced access by employees in the private sector to publicly funded early retirement schemes. The number of beneficiaries of these types of schemes has fallen by a third in the last 10 years. The number of older workers receiving unemployment benefit has seen a corresponding increase. Some large companies are setting up and funding their own early retirement schemes.
19 December 2011: Older workers and employment (France / Survey data report [ or view as size 147 kb])
The ageing population and the consequent increase in the share of older workers in the workforce have raised concerns among both policy makers and social partners across Europe. In France, the employment rate of older workers is still below the EU average, although it has increased slightly in the last decade. The ‘Survey of the management of employees aged 50 and older’ (EGS50+) finds that while explicit ‘age management’ in French workplaces is now more common and employers’ views about older workers has improved, perceptions of workers who are over the age of 50 are still ambivalent.
26 September 2011: Fewer occupational accidents but more violence at work (Finland / Survey data report [ or view as size 116 kb])
The Finnish National Work and Health Survey of working conditions and occupational health is carried out every three years by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. This report examines trends in occupational accidents and violence, exposure to noise, vibration and chemical substances, physical workload, management interest in well-being at work, achieving work–life balance, health-related behaviour and the role of occupational health services.The desire to stay in work longer, better work–life balance and fewer occupational accidents are among the positive trends reported.
23 September 2011: Factors influencing early exit from the labour market (Netherlands / Information update)
According to a recent study based on the Netherlands Working Conditions Survey, Dutch employees are increasingly motivated to work until the official retirement age of 65 (42% in 2009). They also increasingly think they will be able to do so in their present job (45%). A poor social climate at work and poor health are predictors of lower motivation and ability to continue working until 65. In addition to promoting health and a positive social climate, the ability to work until 65 should be supported by less heavy work and adjusting working hours to employees’ needs.
23 September 2011: Reform of pension system stirs controversy (Hungary / Information update)
The government’s reform of the pension scheme is aimed at geting several hundred thousand economically inactive Hungarians under the age of 60 back into the labour market. The proposed changes to the disability pension scheme could save the government some HUF 217 billion (€0.8 billion) by 2013. The government’s plans to reduce disability pension benefits and scrap early retirement are opposed by many groups, particularly NGOs and trade unions who are keen to manintain the status quo.
02 September 2011: Working pensioners important for Czech labour force (Czech Republic / Information update)
A recent study of the Czech workforce, conducted by the Czech Statistical Office, has shown that pensioners made up almost 5% of the economically active population in 2010, and more than 5% of all pensioners are still in work. This section of the workforce shows specific characteristics relating to education, job position and employment contract. A growing number of pensioners want to remain in work and feel they will be able to do so, past the official retirement age of 65.
11 July 2011: EU population is ageing and more diverse (EU Level / Information update)
A report by the European Commission has confirmed that its population is ageing, with the median age expected to rise from 40.6 years in 2009 to 47.9 years by 2060. The Demography Report 2010, issued in March 2011, shows that the working population is also ageing, with the proportion of older workers increasing. The report, which says this trend can bring many benefits for the individual, also reveals there is an increasingly diverse population, with new migration patterns.
27 May 2011: ‘Evil Eleven Syndrome’: The dark side of workplaces (Finland / Information update)
Research based on a framework developed at the Tampere University School of Management reveals the dark side of Finnish workplaces, which weakens both worker well-being and performance. Organisational inefficiency was analysed both theoretically and empirically with the aim of locating its sources and effects in municipal work communities providing social services for the elderly. Non-interference led to features symptomatic of the ‘Evil Eleven Syndrome’.
25 March 2011: Older workers face discrimination (Norway / Information update)
Annual surveys carried out by Synovate for the Centre for Senior Policy since 2003 have revealed perceived age discrimination among older employees in Norway. The 2010 survey found that, although the prevalence of age discrimination is still lower than seven years ago, it increased in 2010 compared with 2009 for some unknown reason. Discrimination against older employees remains widespread in Norway, though older workers appear more welcome in the public sector.
21 January 2011: Employers consider employees ‘old’ at age 58.5 (France / Information update)
According to a study by the Ministry of Employment’ statistics arm, Dares, the attitude of French employers towards older workers has changed: employers now believe an employee is ‘old’ at age 58.5 compared with 55 in a similar study carried out in 2001. However, the study also found that employers are not concerned about the increasing proportion of older people in their workforce as over 80% of those questioned were considering adopting measures tailored to these workers.
19 October 2010: Constitutional Tribunal rules different retirement age for women as non-discriminatory (Poland / Information update)
In response to a request from the Ombudsman, the Polish Constitutional Tribunal ruled on 15 July 2010 that the different statutory retirement age for women (60 years) and men (65 years) in Poland does not contradict the country’s constitutional provisions on gender discrimination. The Tribunal intends to advise parliament to legislate to successively remove the differential, which is generally supported by the trade unions and the public, but not by employer associations.
19 October 2010: Lack of professional training and career advancement of older workers (Czech Republic / Information update)
Older workers evaluate their working abilities very positively according to a survey carried out by the Czech Occupational Safety Research Institute. The majority are willing to participate in professional training but less than half had done so in the previous year. Older workers do not feel that their training ambitions or possible career advancement are supported by employers but almost half admit their age group does not take sufficient advantage of adult education.
20 August 2010: Demographic change and work in Europe (EU Level / Survey data report [ or view as size 116 kb])
Demographic change is, without any doubt, one of the megatrends that will influence Europe in many ways during the next decades. The European Council and the European Commission have recognised this for some years now and it has even been reflected in the EU Treaty. This report focuses on the most relevant probable effects of demographic change on work in Europe – a shrinking workforce and the changing composition of this workforce.
23 July 2010: Heavy work and the possibility of early retirement (Netherlands / Information update)
Occupations involving ‘heavy work’ may be exempt from the proposal by the Dutch government to increase the retirement age from 65 to 67 years. The concept of heavy work is multi-dimensional; it should not be solely about physically heavy work but should at least also take account of the psychosocial workload. It will be difficult to identify occupations to be exempted due to the many jobs and many outcomes that may be relevant.
01 July 2010: New outlook for occupational risk trends (Denmark / Information update)
A new report published by the Danish Working Environment Authority provides an outlook for occupational risk trends for the period 2010 to 2020. The report emphasises that occupational risks should not be considered as changing abruptly but rather as evolving gradually. According to the report, the main working environment issues to be addressed in the labour market as a whole are psychosocial and musculoskeletal risk exposure together with work-related accidents.
08 March 2010: Stricter sick leave rules results in insurance savings (Hungary / Information update)
Hungary’s National Health Insurance Fund (OEP) managed to achieve a positive budget balance in 2008, according to recent findings. The savings are thought to be linked to the first stage of a health reform in early 2007, introducing stricter rules for sick leave and the supervision and review of the incapacity for work status by OEP doctors. As a result, the number of sick days taken and sick leave expenditure have shown a decline in recent years.
20 November 2009: Working environment shown to play role in early retirement (Denmark / Information update)
A recent study confirms that the working environment plays a substantial role in the take-up of early retirement. The study, which examines the relations between working environment factors and early retirement, also uncovers considerable gender differences regarding the impact of working conditions on early retirement. However, neither the working environment nor other external factors fully explain why people opt for early retirement.
09 November 2009: Fostering employment of older engineers in manufacturing sector (Germany / Information update)
Many manufacturing companies are boosting the employment of older engineers in order to overcome skilled labour shortages in engineering, according to a study by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research. Companies are deliberately hiring older engineers, offering incentives to remain in employment for longer and engaging retired engineers as self-employed project managers or consultants. Yet, few companies fully realise the challenges that demographic change will pose for human resources strategies.
01 September 2009: Significant increase in labour market participation of older workers (Spain / Information update)
In May 2009, the trade union research institute, Fundación 1º de Mayo, issued a study on the labour market participation rate of people aged 55–64 years and their career paths. It shows that the activity and employment rates of this population group have increased significantly in the past 10 years, although gender differences remain. The report identifies some of the main elements that influence the participation of this age group in the labour market.
14 August 2009: More part-time work and lower job quality among older workers (Estonia / Information update)
Statistics Estonia and the Office of the Minister for Population and Ethnic Affairs have published two studies investigating employment among older people. The studies outlined and analysed the reasons for retirement, the different employment patterns of older persons and job satisfaction among this age group. Although older people have a relatively high employment rate in Estonia, several aspects still need improvement to support employment in older age.
10 July 2009: Company attitudes towards employing older workers (Bulgaria / Information update)
A 2006 survey conducted by the University of National and World Economy among human resource managers examined the attitudes and stereotypes associated with the employment of older workers. The respondents mainly valued the loyalty and experience of older workers; however, they were critical of their resistance to organisational and technological change. The survey also found that organisations are still not aware of the necessary policies targeting the ageing workforce.
09 April 2009: Employers’ expectations regarding recent graduates (Hungary / Information update)
A study was recently conducted exploring employers’ expectations in relation to recent graduates. The study focused on the types of soft skills that employers look for from young workers, beyond professional knowledge and competence. It found that employers have similar expectations of recent graduates, regardless of their field of training, and are particularly critical of their language skills, practical experience and motivation levels.
16 March 2009: Company practices in promoting active ageing (Luxembourg / Information update)
Continuing vocational training is regarded, along with the adaptation of working conditions, as one of the main ways of ensuring active ageing. It prevents the deskilling of ageing workers and helps to maintain their employability, which is vital for keeping such workers in work. These are the findings of a report by the Centre for Population, Poverty and Socioeconomic Policy Studies in Luxembourg based on a survey on ‘Keeping older people in work’.
02 March 2009: Expectations about working capacity at age 60 (France / Information update)
One out of three workers do not feel that they will be able to do their current job when they reach 60 years of age. Women more frequently express this concern, as do retail and service workers, and those in blue-collar jobs. Such workers are also more exposed to painful and tiring positions, monotonous work with poor opportunities to develop new skills, inadequate work equipment and tensions with customers or management. These characteristics are, in turn, strongly correlated with concerns about not being able to do the same work at 60 years of age.
04 February 2009: Job retention law leads to unwanted side-effects (Luxembourg / Information update)
The Law of 25 July 2002 on work incapacity and returning to work sought to increase job retention in Luxembourg, an issue which mainly concerns older workers. However, recent research has found that the first few years of its application have not contributed to the achievement of European and national targets. Instead, it has resulted in an increase in people claiming benefits and jobseekers, thus leading to a rise in ‘broad unemployment’.
13 October 2008: Municipal employees are postponing retirement (Finland / Information update)
The proportion of municipal employees in Finland who have postponed their exit from work has increased since the pension reform in 2005. Almost a quarter of those who retired on an old-age pension in 2007 had delayed their exit from the labour market, and each year some 3,000 public sector workers at municipal level are still working even after retirement. As the issue of prolonging work careers is a high priority for the government, it is important to take measures to ensure the well-being of workers.
03 September 2008: Older workers show highest levels of company loyalty (Lithuania / Information update)
In 2007, as part of an international project, the RAIT market research and analysis group examined employee loyalty in Lithuanian companies. The research found that 61% of respondents were committed neither to their employer nor to their work, while only 19% were committed to both. Job satisfaction and work motivation tended to vary with age and the low level of commitment among young workers can be linked with the start of their professional career.
11 June 2008: Factors determining early exit from employment (Malta / Information update)
A qualitative research study carried out by the Employment and Training Corporation in 2007 evaluated the factors influencing individuals’ decisions to exit employment before reaching the statutory retirement age. The study was conducted among 30 men aged 55–60 years who were neither working nor registering for work at the time of the study. Poor working conditions were found to be among the main factors pushing older workers out of employment earlier than expected.
07 April 2008: Labour market participation of older people (Greece / Information update)
A recent study by the Empeiria Development Partnership examines the participation of people aged 55–64 years in the Greek labour market in the period between 1993 and 2004. Despite an increase in the labour force as a whole over the period under examinatione, the share of workers in the 55–64 age group declined. The study also makes an initial investigation of the impact of an expected increase in the number of people in this age group.
17 March 2008: Increase in generational wage gap since early 1990s (Italy / Information update)
According to a recent study carried out by the Bank of Italy, entry wage levels of young male employees show a significant decline since the early 1990s. Despite a noticeable increase in educational levels, no changes emerge in the ‘age-earnings profile’ over the past three decades. These findings reflect both a productivity slowdown of the Italian labour force and a decline in aggregate wage share among workers.
18 February 2008: Managing the transition from work to retirement (Poland / Information update)
In 2007, the Central Statistical Office published an analysis of the module survey on ‘Transition from work into retirement’, which is based on Labour Force Survey data from the second quarter of 2006. The analysis focuses on the characteristics of people receiving pensions, including their employment rate and level of education. Some of the respondents highlight the lack of flexibility in working life as a factor discouraging them from continuing in a professional capacity.
04 February 2008: Report signals employment challenges in the EU despite continuing economic growth (EU Level / Information update)
The ‘Employment in Europe 2007’ report identifies strong economic growth within Member States, accompanied by significant challenges in raising employment rates. It addresses topics high on the European Union’s employment policy agenda, including issues of age, flexicurity, vocational training and labour income share. This article focuses mainly on age and flexicurity, areas of interest which are particularly topical in relation to working conditions.
29 January 2008: Study reveals gap in labour market supply and demand (Latvia / Information update)
A recent study reveals serious gaps in the supply and demand of labour. On the supply side, a decline in the overall population, including those of working age, is observed, while the age and gender structure is unbalanced. On the demand side, the economy’s transformation from an industry-based to a service-based structure requires a new quality workforce. Employers will have to plan for a future with fewer workers available.
29 January 2008: ‘Inclusive working life’ programme reduces sick leave in companies (Norway / Information update)
‘Inclusive working life’ (IWL) is a Norwegian intervention programme aimed at reducing sick leave and increasing the average retirement age. In 2005, the National Institute of Occupational Health evaluated the programme by examining 86 company cases, with a view to identifying possible success factors. Such factors were found to include integrating IWL within the corporate strategy, enabling employee participation, and availing of occupational health services.
14 January 2008: Motives behind early retirement and working beyond retirement (Czech Republic / Information update)
Despite the fact that the age limit for retirement is increasing in the Czech Republic, only a quarter of Czechs plan to work to the age of 65 years, and the majority wish to have stopped working when they reach retirement age. The main reasons keeping people at work even after they reach retirement age is the need to earn more money and to maintain their lifestyle. Meanwhile, those who lose their jobs and cannot find another position are most likely to take early retirement.
19 November 2007: Older workers’ attitudes towards working after retirement (Bulgaria / Information update)
A survey conducted in 2006 by the independent Sofia Consulting Group highlighted the factors influencing the decision of workers aged between 50 and 65 years to retire or continue working. The survey reveals that 45% of the respondents are willing to work, compared with 39% who prefer early retirement. About two thirds of the respondents stated that they intend to continue working after retirement.
12 November 2007: Older unemployed workers less likely to find employment (Austria / Information update)
A study on the situation of older unemployed workers and their chances of reintegrating in the labour market reveals that age is a criterion for labour market exclusion. Moreover, age and the prejudices that are associated with older unemployed workers are not the only factors which contribute to difficulties in finding a job; the recent changes in working life, such as deteriorating working conditions and a higher work pace, also contribute to such problems.
24 September 2007: General support for lower retirement age (Poland / Information update)
Compared with the 1990s, public opinion polls in recent years indicate that support for a lower retirement age has decreased among men and women. Nevertheless, Poles still tend to believe that women should retain the right to retire at an earlier age than men. Moreover, 2005 data reveal that a majority of those interviewed opposed the same retirement age for both sexes.
27 August 2007: People more willing to work until retirement age (Netherlands / Information update)
Willingness to work until retirement age is increasing in the Netherlands: from 21% in 2005 to 26% in 2006. People’s willingness and ability to work until retirement are related to demographics, current health and work characteristics. Significant sectoral differences emerge, and the gap between being willing and being able varies considerably. This gap constitutes the scope for increasing the labour force by encouraging employees who can to stay in work.
06 August 2007: Employment rates of older workers on the rise (Finland / Information update)
In recent years, employment has risen considerably among older workers in Finland. While in 1999, less than 40% of those aged 55 years were employed, this had increased to 55% by 2006. The growth is due on the one hand to the various national programmes launched since the end of the 1990s to attract people into work, and to the pension policy reforms of 2005 on the other. According to the Finnish Quality of Work Life Survey, higher education levels among older workers have also had a positive impact on employment.
23 July 2007: Earnings of older employees lagging behind (Czech Republic / Information update)
On average, employees aged over 50 years are paid less than their younger colleagues, according to a recent survey conducted by the Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs. The structure of pay and wages in the Czech Republic appears to be more market-oriented in comparison with its neighbouring countries. The principle of seniority has almost ceased to exist in company wage systems, and employers are clearly giving priority to younger workers with respect to remuneration.
21 May 2007: Motivating people to work beyond retirement age (Sweden / Information update)
Debate is ongoing in Sweden about the future labour shortage and the need for employees of retirement age to work longer. A study conducted by the National Institute of Working Life in 2005 reveals that the two most important aspects determining people’s inclination to work longer are motivation and work environment conditions.
07 May 2007: Training in information technology for older workers (Luxembourg / Information update)
Luxembourg, like most European countries, has taken measures to encourage older workers to stay longer in the workforce. Beyond the initiatives undertaken by the authorities, companies have been encouraged to provide training and development in certain fields where older workers could feel excluded. One of these areas includes access to and use of new information and communication technologies (ICT), which have developed at a rapid pace within companies in recent years. A survey carried out among companies in 2005 investigated company practices in relation to ICT training and examined the extent to which age was taken into account by the organisations that provided such training.
07 May 2007: Organisational strategies for active ageing (Belgium / Information update)
In 2006, the University of Hasselt launched a research project on active ageing, aimed at promoting age-related human resource management strategies within Belgian companies. The research findings indicate that, when companies initiate change, attention is not only paid to the content of such change, but also to the process and the meaning behind it. Much emphasis is also placed on involving all of the parties within an organisation in the change process. Moreover, the organisation endeavours to stimulate the professional development of all employees in order to create favourable conditions for an active ageing of the workforce.
07 May 2007: HR management tools to deal with the ageing of the workforce (Germany / Information update)
A study by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research presents a holistic human resource management approach to tackle the challenges arising from demographic change. The study finds that such management approaches are more prevalent in large companies.
14 March 2007: Increasing reliance on older workers in the labour market (Hungary / Information update)
A declining youth population in the future will mean that people will have to work for longer. This will shift the policy focus on increasing the employment of older workers, who are currently present in low numbers in Hungary’s labour market. A survey carried out among companies with more than 50 employees examined the opportunities of employees aged over 45 years and the degree to which companies utilise the experience of older colleagues.
12 February 2007: Older employees cite stress and fatigue as biggest problems at work (Lithuania / Information update)
In 2005, a survey was carried out on the status of employees approaching retirement in Lithuanian companies. The key objective was to increase labour market accessibility for pre-pension individuals in the Utena and Vilnius counties of eastern Lithuania, and to combat any discrimination towards them at work. The survey results showed that pre-pension employees were adequately integrated within the staff community, competent in their professional spheres and interested in improving their qualifications.
20 November 2006: Company-level policies prove effective in age management (EU Level / Information update)
A recent report on ageing and employment, from the European Commission, considers measures designed to help maintain and improve the employment opportunities of older workers. Based on a study of 11 EU countries, the report offers important empirical findings that demonstrate how some companies are beginning to address the issue of managing an ageing workforce.
30 October 2006: Changed attitudes towards older workers (Finland / Information update)
According to a qualitative study on ageing workers, it appears that attitudes have changed and are more positive towards older staff. Appreciation of older workers, investing in their ability and knowledge and seeing them as a valuable resource is likely to become a new trend in working life. However, the study indicates that the reshaping of working life practices to foster long careers has only just begun.
16 October 2006: Views on retirement of middle-aged employees (Germany / Information update)
A recent study reveals that the majority of middle-aged employees would welcome flexible retirement arrangements. A total of 77% of the employees surveyed stated that they would prefer to work until the age of 65 years which is the official retirement age. Working a reduced number of hours after a certain age and a greater appreciation of their work by employers were mentioned as major motivating factors for employees who would be willing to work until the official retirement age.
16 October 2006: Low labour market participation among older workers (Cyprus / Information update)
A study conducted by the Economic Research Centre of the University of Cyprus, on the subject of labour market participation and retirement decisions, highlights the low labour market participation rates of older workers. The study, the results of which were published in June 2006, is the first of its kind to examine the factors affecting labour market participation at a microeconomic level, in particular among people aged 55–64 years.
02 October 2006: Extent of discrimination against older workers (Luxembourg / Information update)
In the spring of 2004, the Centre for Population, Poverty and Socioeconomic Policy Studies conducted a survey to examine employers’ views on older workers. A total of 25 statements were submitted to business managers with the aim of assessing the qualities and shortcomings generally attributed to older workers compared with young workers. The results show that 14% of employers have quite strong discriminatory views regarding older workers.
02 October 2006: Companies plan for an ageing workforce (Luxembourg / Information update)
The ageing of the workforce is an issue that all companies in Luxembourg must deal with. The Observatory of Professional Relations and Employment within the Ministry of Labour has launched a research programme into workforce ageing and retaining older workers in employment. A general analysis has identified the crucial role of the quality of working conditions in encouraging older workers to stay at work. However, a survey conducted among companies in Luxembourg shows that only a minority of them are improving the working conditions of older workers. Most of those that do so are companies that in general terms have a human resources policy aimed at ensuring a better quality of life at work.
03 July 2006: Survey explores age-related policies, practices and preferences (United Kingdom / Information update)
In 2006, the UK government published new research examining whether and to what extent current employment policies and practices may be discriminatory on the grounds of age. It found that a series of practices – in areas such as recruitment, pay, training, retirement and redundancy – could potentially be age discriminatory. Moreover, there is still a lack of awareness among employers about the Employment Equality Regulations coming into force in October 2006.
08 September 2006: Factors influencing workers to continue working until retirement age (Netherlands / Information update)
About 40% of employees in the Netherlands report that they are able to work until the age of 65 years, but only around 20% of all employees are willing to do so. Furthermore, only 13% are both willing and able to work until they are 65 years old. Health and working conditions play an important role in this regard. These conclusions are drawn from the 2005 Netherlands Working Conditions Survey, carried out among 23,400 Dutch employees.
07 September 2005: Employment of older workers and lifelong learning (Hungary / Information update)
Employment of older workers is a vital and complex question. The subject should include issues of education and lifelong learning, motivation, and health. In Hungary, changes in employment structures and in attitudes are essential to achieve EU targets. A 2005 report outlines recommendations for promoting lifelong learning.
26 April 2005: Health and employability of older workers (Netherlands / Information update)
Myths and facts about older employees, their physical and mental health and associated disabilities have been mapped in the Netherlands, using varying research methods. Results show a gap between opinions and reality regarding the health and employability of older workers. People perceive all older employees as less healthy than their younger counterparts. In fact, a large majority of older employees enjoy good physical and mental health and work very well up to 65–70 years of age.
10 February 2005: Health and work satisfaction among older workers (Estonia / Information update)
A study combining relevant data of different surveys reveals that health indicators for older people in Estonia are relatively poor. However, absenteeism is not higher among older workers, and they are also more content with their working conditions.
23 December 2004: Company practices regarding older workers (Portugal / Information update)
A survey of over 3,000 Portuguese companies reveals that older workers experience a number of difficulties when returning to the labour market after a period of unemployment. It also shows that older workers are frequently passed over for professional training and, in some cases, are forced into compulsory retirement.
09 September 2004: Less physical risks and stress among older people (France / Information update)
Older workers in France are less subject to adverse physical and mental stress factors than their younger colleagues. Nevertheless, according to a recent analysis of survey results over a 15-year period, they report increasing work demands and feel that the overall quality of their working conditions has deteriorated.
09 September 2004: Moins de pénibilités et de stress chez les travailleurs plus âgés (France / Information update)
Les travailleurs plus âgés sont moins exposés que leurs cadets aux pénibilités physiques et au stress psychologique. Cependant, selon une analyse récente des résultats des enquêtes menées sur une période de 15 ans, ils trouvent que les rythmes de travail se sont intensifiés et considèrent qu’en général la qualité de leurs conditions de travail s’est détériorée.
13 July 2004: Ageing and work in Europe (EU Countries / Topic report [ or view as size 120 kb])
The European Union will face a shortage of workers in the future as fertility rates decline. At the same time, there will be a growing strain on social welfare systems as more people enjoy increased life expectancy. With the objective of raising employment rates of older people the EU is promoting policies aimed at abolishing early retirement schemes, setting up more flexible working hours, improving health and safety, and developing access to lifelong learning. This report examines the measures taken by seven countries to target these objectives. It identifies successful elements in terms of quality of work and employment. It draws on a cross-section of experiences and social models representative of European diversity, and from data at European level. Company case examples illustrate these successes.
13 July 2004: Âge et travail en Europe (EU Countries / Topic report [ or view as size 125 kb])
L'Union européenne va devoir faire face, à moyen terme, à une pénurie de main-d'œuvre, compte tenu de la baisse des taux de natalité. Dans le même temps, la pression exercée sur les systèmes de sécurité sociale ira grandissante, suite à l'allongement de l'espérance de vie. Avec pour objectif d'augmenter les taux d'emploi de personnes plus âgées, l'UE encourage des politiques destinées à abolir les systèmes de retraite anticipée, à mettre en place des horaires plus flexibles, à améliorer la santé et la sécurité et à développer l'accès à la formation tout au long de la vie. Ce rapport examine les mesures prises par sept pays pour atteindre ces objectifs. Il identifie des éléments positifs en termes de qualité du travail et d'emploi. Il fait appel à un échantillon d'expériences et de modèles sociaux représentatifs de la diversité européenne et à des données au niveau européen. Des exemples d'entreprises viennent illustrer ces succès.
04 June 2004: Call for EU-wide strategies aimed at older workers (EU Level / Information update)
A Communication published by the Commission in March 2004 outlines key conditions for promoting employment among older workers and delaying their exit from the labour force. The aim is to encourage the development and implementation of comprehensive, long-term ageing policies in all EU Member States.
14 May 2004: Older workers more motivated in their work (Netherlands / Information update)
The TNO Work Situation Survey 2002 shows that, although older workers in the Netherlands report more health problems than their younger colleagues, they are seen to be more motivated and absorbed in their work. In the light of the predicted shrinking of the labour market in the future, it will become increasingly important to facilitate older employees to stay on in work rather than encouraging them to retire early.
10 May 2004: Creating better working conditions for older workers (Sweden / Information update)
Working conditions need to be adapted to encourage older people to remain in the workforce. Sweden’s National Institute for Working Life and the Swedish Work Environment Authority have produced joint guidelines aimed at improving the working conditions of older workers.
30 April 2004: Better-educated older people less likely to retire early (Denmark / Information update)
A new report, ‘Seniors and the labour market’, reveals a significant link between level of education, type of job and retirement age. The report, published by Statistics Denmark in January 2004, shows that 52% of people with a higher education in the 60-66 year age group are still working. This is three times as many as persons in the same age group who have only a primary school education.
22 October 2003: Higher education best guarantee of long working career in Finland (Finland / Information update)
The economic recession Finland experienced in the early 1990s forced many employees aged 50 to 64 to end their careers early. People with a third-level education were more likely than others to remain employed until retirement age. However, since the recession, employment has recovered better among employees aged 50 to 64 than among younger workers.