Employment: Older People

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 13 September 2023.

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Photo of Julian Sturdy Julian Sturdy Conservative, York Outer

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to encourage businesses to employ (a) unemployed and (b) retired people aged over 60.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The Default Retirement Age was abolished in 2011, most people can work for as long as they choose to, and the Government is committed to ensuring that employers are aware of the wealth of skills and experience that older workers bring to the workplace.

The Department for Work and Pensions engages with employers to encourage positive attitudes towards older workers. The Government appointed Andy Briggs as the Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers who spearheads work to promote the benefits of older workers and having multigenerational workforces to employers across England, and the adoption of suitable work practices to increase the retention, retraining and recruitment of older workers.

In March 2023, the Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression announced the appointment of Helen Tomlinson, as the Government’s Menopause Employment Champion, to drive awareness of issues surrounding the menopause and work and encourage employers to develop policies that create a more supportive environment to support women to stay in work, progress or re-join the labour market.

The Department has signed the Age-friendly employer pledge, a nationwide programme run by the Centre for Ageing Better to promote age inclusive working practices. In turn, the National Employment and Partnership Team (NEPT) are engaging with employers and promoting the pledge to encourage others to sign up too.

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