Friday, October 24, 2014

Switzerland: OECD Reports Calls for Greater Efforts To Help Older Workers Stay at Work

The OECD has issued a report finding that Switzerland should do more to help older people, especially women, work longer in order to meet the challenge of a rapidly aging population. According to "Working Better with Age in Switzerland," while Switzerland has one of the highest employment rates for older workers in the OECD (in 2012, 70.5% of Swiss aged 55-64 were in work), the rate is much lower for women (61.5%), particularly if they are non-graduates (49%). In addition, the report notes that, once older workers lose their jobs, it is often difficult for them to get back into the labor market: 59% of unemployed Swiss workers aged over 55 had been out of work for more than 12 months in 2012, up from 40% a decade ago and above the OECD average of 47%.

Accordingly, the OECD recommends that Switzerland (in order of priority):
  • help women by promoting their employability, make it easier for them to balance work and family life throughout their careers and remove work disincentives in the tax system and the pension system;
  • make training more attractive for low-skilled workers and encourage enterprises to keep training them until the end of their careers;
  • encourage social partners and pension funds to reduce incentives for early retirement in their second pillar schemes;
  • support the action of the Public Employment Service in helping older workers, particularly aged 60-64, find stable jobs;
  • improve the targeting of social assistance budgets for the older unemployed to help them back into work;
  • encourage social partners to link pay more to experience and performance than age;and
  • combat age discrimination (which remains legal in Switzerland, and is quite common.
Source: OECD News Release (October 23, 2014)

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