workingwise.co.uk has published a free e-book on the discussions of its inaugural National Older Workers Week which includes expert advice, best practice examples, employer and employee case studies and calls to action.
Last November, workingwise.co.uk launched the first National Older Workers Week** in the UK. The aim of the week, which was sponsored by QA Ltd, was to highlight the issues facing older workers, particularly as a result of Covid, and to promote best practice.
Now we are launching a free e-book which encapsulates some of the learnings from that week and seeks to drive the momentum forward.
The week marked the publication of the annual workingwise.co.uk survey results which showed a perception of widespread ageism among older workers, with 55% saying they had encountered ageism in the recruitment process and 44% having altered their cv to disguise their age because of perceived ageism in the recruitment process.
In the last weeks, Rest Less’ analysis of Office for National Statistics figures shows the extent of the longer term unemployment problems facing men over 50 as a result of Covid while the Institute of Employment Studies has spotlighted how many older people have fallen out of the workplace since the pandemic began, particularly older women. At a time of marked labour shortages both argue that employers and policymakers should be looking more closely at what they can do to assist this age group to stay in work or to find it if they are unemployed.
The e-book includes write-ups of the various online events that took place that week, covering our research findings and sessions with employers and experts on tackling ageism at work as well as managing multigenerational teams.
There are also full details of the workingwise.co.uk survey, interviews with experts such as Patrick Thomson, Policy Institute Director from Shaw Trust, as well as employer case studies from employers such as the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and J Murphy & Sons and employee case studies from Corbin & King, WH Smith and Zurich.
Gillian Nissim, founder of WM People, the umbrella group for workingwise.co.uk workingmums.co.uk and workingdads.co.uk, said: “We would like to see greater awareness of the problems faced by older workers, particularly with regard to the recruitment process, but also when it comes to training and progression, greater emphasis on work life balance and more positive role models as well as more effort to stamp out unconscious bias and to think outside the box when it comes to career gaps.
“We know many employers are making efforts to monitor and address other forms of unconscious bias, but age seems not to be on the radar of many or only on the periphery. Yet people will be in the workforce for longer in the future, they are likely to have more career breaks in their lifetime and they may not be able to or want to retire. A more age inclusive workforce makes sense for workers, for employers and for society generally, given the positive impact of good quality work on people’s wellbeing.
“With many areas of the workforce suffering from skills shortages, it seems very short-sighted not to make use of the richness of experience available.”
To maintain momentum, the e-book also lists a number of immediate actions employers can take. They include:
– Signing the workingwise.co.uk charter on older workers
– Sharing best practice and ideas through taking part in workingwise.co.uk‘s employer best practice roundtables or contributing articles or blogs on how they are addressing ageing workforce issues
– Taking part in events related to the ageing workforce, such as next year’s National Older Workers Week.
To order your copy of the free e-book on recruiting and retaining older workers, click here.
*This year’s National Older Workers Week (NOWW22) will run from the 21st until 25th November 2022 with a continued focus on sharing best practice on creating an age-friendly workplace.