Saturday, September 06, 2014

United Kingdom: Survey Finds Gen Y Employees with Negative Attitude Toward Older Workers, Flextime

According to research conducted for the United Kingdom law firm Doyle Clayton, Generation Y employees have the most negative attitudes towards older employees and part-time and flexible workers. In addition, "Age Before Beauty? The Challenges Facing Britain's Managers in Overcoming Age and Gender Discrimination in the Workplace" reports that, according to their employees, micro businesses are Britain’s least discriminatory workplaces, and mid-sized businesses are where you are most likely to experience discrimination at work.

Among the key findings from "Age Before Beauty?" are:
  • in micro businesses (1-9 employees), 96% of employees feel that age discrimination has never been an issue;
  • in medium sized (50 – 249) and larger businesses, over 20% of employees had witnessed discrimination on grounds of age, whereas in micro businesses virtually no employee interviewed had witnessed it;
  • 20% of employees at medium sized and large businesses view colleagues who work flexibly as less committed, whereas employees at micro businesses were consistently more positive; and
  • Generation Y have the most discriminatory attitude toward flexible working and older workers, with 27.4% of those aged 25 to 34 seeing fellow employee working part-time as less committed, 31.1% seeing those working from home two or more days a week as less committed, and 18.3% (more than twice any other age group) seeing workers over 60 as less valuable.
Source: Doyle Clayton News (September 2, 2014)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Aging Workforce Issues Come To the Comics Page

I don't know how long this story line will go on, but starting with the July 28, 2014, strip "Judge Parker," older workers are being looked at as a means of building new business with lower labor costs.

In this instance, senior citizens are being targeted for their decreased need for health care and pensions. It will be interesting to see what transpires, but the concept that the seniors that need work might be the ones without health care and pensions seems to be missing.

Source: Washington Post Judge Parker (July 28, 2014)

Monday, July 14, 2014

United Kingdom: Government Appoints Business Champion for Older Workers

Dr. Ros Altmann CBE has been appointed by the United Kingdom government as its new Business Champion for Older Workers. A former director-general of Saga and independent expert on later life issues, Dr. Altmann is tasked with making the case for older workers within the business community and challenging outdated perceptions. Her appointment follows the government’s publication of "Fuller Working Lives – A Framework For Action," which set out the benefits to individuals, business and the economy as a whole of people aged over 50 staying in work.

In making the appointment, Minister of Work and Pensions Steve Webb MP, said that he "wanted a powerful voice; someone respected amongst the business community, with a track record of speaking up for consumer rights without fear or favour. In Dr Ros Altmann that’s exactly what we have." Dr. Altmann said:
I am really proud to be taking on this new role and look forward to championing over 50s in the workplace. This fast-growing section of society has so much experience and talent to offer and could play a vital role in future growth. Everyone can benefit from ensuring their skills do not go to waste. I also look forward to challenging some of the outdated and downright inaccurate perceptions of later life workers who still have so much to offer.
Source: United Kingdom Department of Work and Pensions Press Release (July 14, 2014)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Midwestern United States: Immigration Helping To Overcome Population Loss and Aging Workforce

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has issued a report finding that immigration is a demographic lifeline for metropolitan areas throughout the 12-state Midwest region, helping to overcome population decline and an aging workforce. According to "Growing the Heartland: How Immigrants Offset Population Decline and an Aging Workforce in
Midwest Metropolitan Areas,"
authored by Rob Paral, the number of native-born persons aged 35 to 44—in their prime working and tax-paying years—fell by 1.4 million from 2000 to 2010 in the Midwest, while the percent of Midwesterners who are in their late working years or early retirement years is on the upswing. On the other hand, while the number of native-born persons in Midwestern metro areas grew by only 3.3% between 2000 and 2010, the number of immigrants grew by 27%, so that immigration now accounts for 38.4% of all metro area growth in the Midwest.
“The demographics reveal that the immigrant population is here and important to the region’s growth,” said Juliana Kerr, who directs The Chicago Council’s immigration work. “Policymakers now should focus on developing effective policies to seamlessly integrate immigrants and leverage their economic potential.”
Source: The Chicago Council on Global Affairs Press Release (June 24, 2014)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Research: Pension Workshop Includes Presentations on Interplay of Continued Work and Pension Claims

The Netspar International Pension Workshop hosted by Venice International University in June 2014, heard presentations on a range of topics on the common themes of retirement, pensions and aging. Among other things, presentations included:Source: Netspar News Release (June 23, 2014)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Singapore: Government Announces Plan for Incentives to Employers Implementing Flexible Work for Mature Workers

At a speech on "Effective Workplaces: Creating a Flexible, Inclusive, Safe and Healthy Workplace" delivered at the Age Management Seminar, Dr. Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower, announced several enhancements that the Singapore Government was going to make to WorkPro to help employers better manage mature workers, especially with respect to flexible work arrangements (FWAs). The most significant enhancement is to:
provide employers with a $10,000 incentive to pilot new FWAs, and an additional $10,000 to support them in implementing the FWAs company-wide. With the enhancement, employers can receive a total funding of $40,000 for implementing FWAs, including the reimbursement of expenses incurred during the pilot and company-wide implementation.
In addition, expanding on the $40,000 a year employers can currently receive if they have 30% of their workers using FWAs, there will also be a cash incentive of up to $25,000 a year for employers who have 20% of workers benefitting from FWAs.

Khor also announced that the goverment would introduce a Workplace Health Promotion (WHP) Facilitator’s course, to help arm employers with the necessary knowledge and tools to plan, design and evaluate workplace health programs for their workers. "This will ensure that all employers who tap on the Age Management Grant have the capability to actively promote healthy living among their employees, especially the older ones."

In order "for companies to understand the value that mature workers bring to their business, and adopt a nondiscriminatory mindset when it comes to hiring and managing workers," Khor said that the Tripartite Committee on Employability of Older Workers is launching an advertising campaign—entitled "Tap into a Wealth of Experience"—to highlight the value and experience that mature workers can bring to the workplace.

Sources: Ministry of Manpower Speeches (June 18, 2014); The Straits Times "$10,000 grant for bosses who try flexi-work schemes" (June 19, 2014)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Average Age of Disability Claims Rises to Above 50

The Council for Disability Awareness reports that, in 2013, the average claimant age exceeded 50 for the first time ever. Claims for those age 50 and older, mostly driven by claimants over age 60, have been consistently increasing as a percentage of the total, reflecting the aging of America's working population. According to its report, "2014 Long Term Disability Claims Review," 59% of the new claims approved during 2013 were for individuals age 50 or older. The Council also cites an aging workforce as one of the factors most cited by reporting companies as likely to impact future claim incidence.

In an article about the report for Bloomberg News, Craig Giammona writes that "Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU) and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG) are among insurers that have raised prices for the coverage after being caught off guard by higher-than-expected claims costs." In addition, he quotes Council President Barry Lundquist as saying: "On average, older people have higher wages and it’s harder for them to get back to work.When you think about the baby boomers and how old they are now, they have a much higher chance of becoming disabled -- maybe a four or five times higher chance in a given year than someone that’s in their twenties or thirties.…When you think about the baby boomers and how old they are now, they have a much higher chance of becoming disabled—maybe a four or five times higher chance in a given year than someone that’s in their twenties or thirties."

Sources: Council for Disability Awareness News Release (June 17, 2014); Bloomberg News "Aging Workers Push Disability Costs Higher for Insurers" (June 17, 2014)