Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Europe: Eurofound Report Examines Key Factors to Age and Working Conditions

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) has published a report highlighting four factors that are key to shaping the age structure of Europe’s workforce: ensuring career and employment security; maintaining and promoting the health and well-being of workers; developing skills and competencies; and reconciling working and non-working life. The report--"Working conditions of an ageing workforce" was authored by Claudia Villosio, with Dario Di Pierro, Alessandro Giordanengo, Paolo Pasqua and Matteo Richiardi, of theLABORatorio Riccardo Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies in Italy.

The reports findings show that improving working conditions leads to better job sustainability over the lifecycle, which in turn can prevent early exit from the labor market and encourage stronger participation rates among older workers. The analysis is based on findings from the fourth European Working Conditions Survey carried out in 31 countries, including the 27 EU Member States.
The report reveals how age is an important factor in describing working conditions and that significant differences emerge between younger and older workers. For instance, compared with younger workers, older workers are less exposed to physical risks in the working environment and enjoy a higher degree of autonomy in the workplace and a lower degree of work intensity. However, they have fewer opportunities with respect to involvement in new organisational forms, training and learning new things at work. Young and older workers both share a higher probability of being subjected to acts of discrimination at the workplace and, to a lesser extent, of experiencing difficulties in accessing IT. For their part, middle-aged workers carry a heavier burden in relation to caring activities outside of work, as well as reporting a lower level of satisfaction with work–life balance.
Source: Eurofound Publication Notice (May 6, 2008)

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