Wrightway Health

Ensure your business thrives with the over-55’s

If you want to ensure your business thrives with the over 55's then don't actively encourage your team to retire early but encourage them to be more active in the workplace.

With life expectancy having risen steadily, resulting in the average lifespan in Britain from just under 50 in 1990 to over 75 in 2000, it is continuing to rise.  In the years ahead of us, more of our population will be aged over 50 and there is no reason that this section of society should be excluded from the workplace.

An article in The Guardian recently reported that those encouraged to continue working rather than take early retirement could live a longer and more fulfilled life.

For the individual, a business and society, the view of taking retirement whilst still in your 50s is both old fashioned and unhealthy.

“We have said to young people: stay in education until your mid-20s, retire in your mid-50s and live to your 90s, so we have people working for only 25 years to contribute to a 90-year lifespan.  That is not the way society should be working”.  Professor Harper, founder of the Institute for Population Ageing at Oxford University

Recent changes in legislation, with the removal of the Default Retirement Age and the Equality Act, has allowed employers greater scope to employ who they like, regardless of age, potentially helping them to achieve an optimal mix of workers.

Faced with the rising labour market of older workers, employers may lack knowledge about their value, place and effect they may have within the workplace.  Or possibly fear that the employment of someone more mature may hinder or restrict employment opportunities for younger people, despite the lack of evidence to support this.

In a 2005 report by The Work Foundation, it was suggested that older workers are knowledgeable, engaged and reliable with great customer care skills and are more committed to their role within a workforce.

Whilst it is true that the older employee faces certain vulnerabilities, it is also true that employers have a duty to take reasonable care for their health and safety as much as they do for younger workers.

The key issue is the design of the workplace and how adaptable it is.

By simply being able to accommodate the needs of older workers, your business can benefit hugely from the employee’s knowledge, experience, maturity, reliability and wise counsel.  Considering to put simple measures in place such as

  • placing older employees in the role of a mentor to allow them to contribute and help create an efficient workforce
  • holding regular reviews and workshops to engage them along with helping to identify and reconcile any issues that may have arisen
  • Adapting working hours – psychological changes by the age of 65 mean that older workers are better suited to morning work

will enable your staff to achieve their full potential.

The adjustments to your business are nothing earth-shattering or unthinkably complicated.  Tiny tweaks to get the best from every valued and valid member of your team.

Occupational health can play a significant role in supporting employers in proactively helping to provide a healthy working environment for older workers.

Whilst you train management to look out for any signs of chronic illnesses (which are more likely with older workers) and ensure that a robust absence-management policy is in place, a leading – occupational health specialist – such as Wrightway Health – can carry out appropriate workplace risk and stress assessments along with identifying workers who may be at an increased risk of accidents and stress.

Together, you and your occupational health specialist can remove the barriers, taking steps to support chronic conditions that will promote a healthier, less stressful and more productive older workforce.

Strive, survive, thrive, repeat.

Four little words that our trained team of doctors and specialists at Wrightway Health know beat at the very heart of every caring business.




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