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The Centre for Ageing Better has launched a new age-friendly pledge for employers keen to attract and retain older workers amid workforce shortages and rising economic inactivity among older workers.
The Centre for Ageing Better is launching a new Age-friendly Employer Pledge for businesses and organisations who want to address urgent skills and labour shortages and maximise the potential of older workers.
More than 30 companies and organisations including the RSPCA, Saga, Phoenix Group and Ipsos have already signed the pledge. It complements workingwise.co.uk’s Top Employer Charter which focuses on a commitment to creating an age-inclusive culture.
The pledge was launched with a new Centre for Ageing Better poll which shows that nearly half (45%) of UK adults aged 50+ feel employers view them more negatively than younger colleagues or job applicants.
More than a fifth (21%) indicated that since turning 50, they had regularly experienced ageist attitudes in the workplace or when applying for roles, according to the YouGov survey of 2,000 British adults aged 50 and over.
And while approximately two thirds (64%) of UK adults 50+ agreed they would feel comfortable in reporting ageist behaviour in the workplace, less than half (42%) said they would be confident any complaint would be taken seriously.
Two thirds (66%) of those polled said they would likely stay in their current role if their employer made a pledge to improve the working environment for people in their 50s and 60s.
The newly launched pledge requires employers to commit to taking one action a year to improve the recruitment, retention and development of older workers.
Under the initiative, employers will also identify a senior sponsor for age-inclusion within their workforce and ensure that age is specifically named within their Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies. This is supported by an action framework of suggested actions.
Dr Carole Easton, Chief Executive at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “The labour market is changing and employers are facing huge challenges with skills and labour shortages and near-record vacancy rates. Workers in their 50s and 60s are key to filling these gaps – now, more than ever, the older workforce is the workforce.
“The pledge has been designed to support businesses to go on a journey at a pace that works for them. By taking manageable and measurable steps, employers will learn over time what steps they need to take to make the biggest difference in their own organisation.”