Employment: Older Workers

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 30th September 2019.

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Photo of Paul Farrelly Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent steps her Department has taken to increase access to employment for people aged over 50.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Employment for older people is at a record high. There are now 10.6 million workers aged 50 and over, compared to 9.1 million five years ago.

We have already removed the Default Retirement Age, meaning that most people can choose when to retire and we have extended the right to flexible working beyond carers, to all employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service with their employer.

In 2017, Government published our Fuller Working Lives strategy which set out the role employers, individuals and government can play in supporting older workers. Additionally, we appointed a Business Champion for Older Workers to engage and influence employers on a practical and strategic level, promoting the benefits of an older workforce.

Through the National Retraining Partnership, a partnership between Government, the Confederation of British Industry and the Trades Union Congress, Government is developing the National Retraining Scheme. The National Retraining Scheme will help prepare adults for future changes to the economy, including those brought about by automation, to help them retrain into better jobs.

In February this year, we launched our online mid-life MOT page which encourages more active planning in the key areas of work, wellbeing and finances. Business in the Community have created MOT toolkits to enable employers to deliver an MOT.

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