General Election 2024: political parties urged to give older workers equal opportunities

  • Equality & Diversity
equality for older workers
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

According to new analysis by the Centre for Ageing Better (CAB), the next government could boost the economy by as much as £9 billion a year if it gave older workers a fairer deal in the labour market.

It is calling for all political parties to commit to raising the employment rate of 50–64-year-old workers to 75% by 2030 by signing up to its new 50+ Employment Commitment, which can be found here.

Supporters of the commitment say older workers are currently being let down by ageism and age bias in the labour market, a lack of flexible working and health support, limited opportunities for skills development, and underperforming employment support which is preventing many from realising their full potential.  

The commitment has been endorsed by a number of leading organisations including Demos, Age UK, the Institute for Employment Studies and the Learning and Work Institute.  

CAB Deputy Director for Work, Dr Emily Andrews, said: “The pandemic stalled two decades of improvement in the employment rate of older age groups and they have not recovered. If employment opportunities stagnate after 50, so too will the UK economy.”

By 2030, she highlighted, there will be an additional 1.2 million people aged 50–64 in the UK, but only another 500,000 people aged between 15 and 29. The future of UK growth and productivity over the next Parliament depends on mobilising the 50+ workforce.

CAB has called for a consultation on the introduction of paid carer’s leave and the strengthening of recent legislation on unpaid carer’s leave as well as a default right to flexible work from day one by the end of the next Parliament.

It also wants a government-backed awareness and information campaign, directed at employers of all sizes, to champion the value of good work for people in their 50s and 60s.  

Visit BrAInbox today where you can find answers to questions like What does it mean to consult with an employee in the new flexible working rules?

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