Thursday, September 16, 2010

United Kingdom: Research Study Shows Employers Not Ready for Aging Workforce

According to research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), only 14% of managers in the United Kingdom consider their organization well-prepared to cope with an aging workforce, despite the impending abolition of the Default Retirement Age (DRA) and the fact that a third of UK workers will be aged over 50 by 2020. In their published report--"Managing an Ageing Workforce," CMI and CIPD report that 34% claim board-level recognition of ageing workforce issues is non-existent, despite the fact that 93% see value in retaining the knowledge and experience of older workers.

Among other findings: 43% of managers are not well-informed of their organisation’s retirement policies, 59% note that there is a perception that it is hard for younger employees to manage older people, 40% claim having experienced age discrimination at some stage in their careers, and 41% state that their workplaces are not age diverse.
CMI’s director of policy and research, Petra Wilton, said: “The age profile of the UK workforce is changing, yet UK businesses are woefully underprepared for the impact this will have on their business. This latest research makes it clear that those at senior level in particular are failing to take the issue seriously and that discrimination is still too frequent. If action isn’t taken, employees who are in the 50+ age bracket will feel undervalued and will have no incentive to carry on working beyond normal retirement age. The loss of their talents and considerable experience by businesses not prepared to adapt is reckless in the extreme.”

Dianah Worman, CIPD’s diversity adviser, said: “In difficult economic times businesses are not galvanising the talent and skills available to help them perform more competitively. Employers will need to keep on their toes to respond appropriately to the phasing out of the DRA next year, which will have widespread implications. Clearly businesses already recognise the value of older workers, but this knowledge needs to be matched with appropriate action. We know from this latest research that managers aren’t being supported or trained appropriately in the management of older workers, for example, but it is also apparent that the needs and preferences of older workers have to be better addressed.”
Source: Chartered Management Institute Press Release (September 16, 2010)

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