Working after 50 a review of the crow research
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Working after 50: a review of the CROW Research. Stephen McNair Matt Flynn. CROW. Response to labour market problems in the South East – but national/international interests Based in University of Surrey, funded by SEEDA since 2002 Work to date National survey of job change 20+

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Working after 50: a review of the CROW Research

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Working after 50: a review of the CROW Research

Stephen McNair

Matt Flynn


CROW

  • Response to labour market problems in the South East – but national/international interests

  • Based in University of Surrey, funded by SEEDA since 2002

  • Work to date

    • National survey of job change 20+

    • Postal survey 50-69 yrs

    • Qualitative interviews of older workers – gender and qualification

    • DTI study on employer behaviour

    • Literature/resource base

    • Briefing papers on key issues


What is the problem?

  • We are living longer

    • Life expectancy rose by 30 yrs in 20th century,

    • 90% now live to State Pension Age compared to 66% in 1950

  • We are not replacing the workforce

    • lowest ever birth rate (1.6 per woman),

    • young people entering the workforce later,

    • largest ever age cohort approaching retirement,

    • ageing workforce a major constraint in 6/14 occupational sectors

  • We are saving less

    • lowest ever savings rate,

    • highest ever personal debt,

    • average pension yield halved 2000-2003

  • This is not sustainable – people will have to work longer

  • How can policy secure this?


Responses

  • Employers

    • flexibility

  • Government

    • extending working life,

    • the policy dilemma

  • Individuals

    • the age of choice


A cautionary note

  • Age differences in cross sectional data are not necessarily age related differences

  • The last 40 years have seen:

    • rising qualifications and educational standards

    • feminisation of the workforce

    • decline in low/unskilled, and manufacturing work

    • increasing technology use

    • declining unemployment


ESRC Growing Older

  • 24 projects on age – mainly later life

  • Robertson – well being and retirement decisions (primary research)

  • Evandrou – patterns of multiple roles, including work (using Family & Working Lives, Retirement & Retirement Plans survey, General Household Survey


Joseph Rowntree Foundation: Transitions after 50

  • Discrimination legislation

  • Work history and income

  • Early retirement and income

  • Expectation of leavers

  • Public policy initiatives

  • Transitions from work to retirement

  • Role of flexible employment for older workers

  • Nurses after 50

  • Informal care and work after 50

  • Financial circumstances of the early retired


How far are older workers different?

  • A national Omnibus Survey of 5400 job changers aged 20-69

  • Spring 2003

  • 1136 in 50-69 age range

  • Examining

    • job changes in last 5 years

    • reason for change

    • effects of change

    • support for change

    • usefulness of the support

    • aspirations for work after retirement


Frequency of job change declines with age


Career reasons dominate until 60s


Externally imposed causes of change rise with age


Increased responsibility, skills and hours dominate until 60s: when this reverses


Qualifications and class count: a model of the older workforce

  • Choosers

  • Survivors

  • Jugglers


“Choosers”

  • Highly qualified (mostly graduates)

  • Professional/managerial

  • Positive reasons for job change and retirement

  • High incomes

  • Home owners

  • Stay or retire from choice and for interest

  • 2/3 male


“Survivors”

  • Unqualified (50% have no qualifications)

  • Routine/semi-routine work

  • Most likely group to be divorced/separated

  • Negative reasons for change and retirement

  • Poor health

  • If home owners - working / if renting - retired

  • 2/3 male


“Jugglers”

  • Qualified (below degree)

  • Spread across socio-economic range

  • Home owners

  • Working part-time

  • Work in SMEs

  • After retirement may take up voluntary work

  • Almost all are married women


Individual attitudes to work

  • Postal survey

  • 50-69 yr olds from Omnibus sample

  • 400 responses

  • Employed and retired


Attitudes toward work


Would like to do paid work


Attitudes to retirement age options


How prepared are employers?

  • Commissioned by DTI to inform drafting of legislation

  • Literature review

  • Key national informants

  • 4 case studies

  • HR Directors, Employee reps, line managers

  • Reporting Jan 05


Drivers for change: employers

  • Not the legislation – yet

  • Labour demands – 24/7, shortage of people

  • Recruitment costs

  • Ageing workforce

  • Skills retention - mentoring

  • Reputation – Age Positive

  • Cost benefit


Attitudes to legislation: employers

  • Retirement age

    • Prefer abolition, with exemptions (?)

    • 70 default will lead to raised pension age

    • employer set is impractical

    • ability to discuss without discriminating

    • relationship with DDA – what is “reasonable adjustment”

  • Long service awards

  • Succession planning and a balanced workforce

  • Legislation will lead to improved appraisal/management


Important concerns – literature, interviews and pilots

  • HR policies

    • little direct discrimination evident

    • concern about policy/practice gap

    • differences between group

  • Retirement age

    • abolition raises problems with a few staff, but not many

    • default at 70 will raise real resistance because of pension knock on implications

    • Practicalities of managing retirement without discrimination, levels of proof etc.

  • Timescales

    • all want draft regulations urgently

    • particularly want decision on retirement age and long service awards


Conclusions


How different are older workers in the UK?

  • changes are trends, not steps, but accelerating in the late 50s

  • mobility, positive job changes and participation in training decline with age

  • career and money decline as motivators, but slowly

  • social division increases – reinforced by job change

  • more people want to work part-time after retirement than do so

  • control over working life is critical


Increasing labour market participation after 50: policy implications

  • Recognise diversity

  • Personal autonomy increases commitment

  • Retention is easier than re-entry

  • Manage health better

  • Flexible working and stress reduction help


Future research issues

  • Learning needs of older workers

  • Models of flexible working

  • Health interventions

  • ??


www.surrey.ac.uk/education/crow


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