Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Research Finds Lack of Employer Support for Older Employees and Problem Drinking

According to a study conducted by the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK), older adults in employment and facing retirement are being let down by employers when it comes to problem drinking. "Easing the transition: The relationship between alcohol and labour market activity in the over 50s population of the UK" sets out the specific barriers and challenges faced by over 50s with current or previous drinking problems at three stages of labour market activity: unemployment, employment and retirement.

Among other things, the report finds that it is older ages (60-69) of the professional occupational class that are most likely to be high risk drinkers. While only 6% under the age of 30 drink heavily, nearly 25% of those aged 60-69 drink heavily. In addition, the report concludes that there is a "blind spot" in support from employers and the state in preparing for retirement which falls short of emotional, health and social changes. "For those over 50s still employed stress, boredom, lack of control over work and retirement worries all contribute to drinking more."

The authors call for employers to introduce measures to assist employees over 50 who might be struggling with an alcohol problem, such as counseling and effective workplace policies that treat alcohol issues like any other health issue. In addition, the report calls for greater engagement from employers to staff pre- and post-retirement. This includes social clubs and guidance on how to avoid alcohol becoming a problem once working life is over.

Source: International Longevity Centre-UK Press Release (December 12, 2016)

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