Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Netherlands: Demographic Research on Age-Conscious HR Policies

According to Dutch researchers, generic policy measures that seek to accommodate older workers--for example, by offering them additional leave or reducing their workload--are often perceived and put into practice as "age conscious" personnel policies, but these actions appear to limit the opportunities of older workers, and very few organizations have personnel policies that are targeted at narrowing the growing productivity-wage gap.

In "How do employers cope with an ageing workforce? Views from employers and employees", Hendrik P. van Dalen, Kène Henkens, and Joop Schippers, used a survey of Dutch employers to examine how employers deal with the prospect of an ageing work force, and they supplemented their analysis with an additional survey of Dutch employees to compare human resource policies to practices.

Results showed that a small minority of employers are taking measures to enhance productivity (training programs) or bring productivity in line with pay (demotion). Instead, personnel policies tend to "spare" older workers by giving them extra leave, early retirement, or generous employment protection. Often, older workers who perform poorly are allowed to stay, while younger workers under similar conditions are dismissed.

Source: Demographic Research Abstract (June 4, 2010)

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