Wales TUC launches guide on older workers

TUC Wales has launched a toolkit on older workers which aims to help union representatives tackle age discrimination at work and encourage more age-friendly workplaces.

Mature lady working at home on a laptop


The Welsh TUC has launched a new toolkit on older workers to tackle age-based discrimination at work and encourage employers to enact more age-friendly workplace policies.

The TUC says the number of older people in Wales is rising fast. There are 265,000 more people over the age of 50 than 20 years ago. In 10 years, it says, the number of over-50’s living in Wales will have risen to 1.4 million – a 33% increase since 2000. By 2025, it is estimated that a third of Welsh workers will be over-50.

People are also having to work longer as they live more years. Wales TUC research has found that a third of over-50s expect to retire later than they envisioned when they were 40, with many believing that they will continue working into their 70’s due to increasing financial insecurity, the removal of the mandatory retirement age and increased demand for the skills of many older workers among other factors.

The new toolkit also provides ideas and resources to help trade union officers and representatives to create more inclusive, healthy and sustainable environments for all workers as they grow older

Wales TUC Equalities Policy Officer Rhianydd Williams said: “All workers deserve dignity, safety and security at work. But for far too many older people that is not the reality.

“As trade unionists we believe in furthering the opportunities for older people to access good quality, decent jobs whilst defending the right to retirement and the rights of those too ill to continue working.

“Skills shortages are a problem in sectors such as education, care, construction and customer service. Employers need to make better use of the skills and experiences of older workers and to develop more sustainable approaches for them.”

The guide also outlines several reasons why employers should value older workers, based on their experience, adaptability and value for money. The TUC says an estimated 14.5 million vacancies have been created between 2012 and 2022 in the UK, but only seven million workers are estimated to have entered the job market in that time.

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