How flexible working can attract over-50s back to work
Contracting and other types of flexible working could help bring more over-50s back into the workforce. That’s according to Umbrella.co.uk director Miles Grady.
The Bank of England has expressed concern at the rising number of over-50s not in work or looking for work in recent months.
It’s thought the increase in economically ‘inactive’ older people is partly due to long-term health problems, which affect around a fifth of 50 to 64-year-olds.
However, recent analysis suggests that workers aged between 50 and 65 are increasingly leaving the workforce because they’re choosing to retire early.
This creates a problem for employers and policymakers because it makes labour shortages worse and puts upward pressure on prices at a time when inflation threatens to run out of control.
Miles Grady said: “A recent study from the Office for National Statistics found that 58% of job-leavers aged between 50 and 65 would consider coming back if flexible hours were a priority.
“Older people are already more likely to work part-time, work from home and to be self-employed. Whether it’s picking up the odd shift here and there, working for a few weeks or months at a time or taking on a flexible consulting role - there are all sorts of flexible working opportunities for older people that want more balance in their lives.
“And by taking on people with more life experience, employers can benefit from different points of view and a more diverse workplace. It could also help employers fill hard to plug workforce gaps.”
It’s thought that the rising cost of living and questions about the future of the Government’s ‘triple lock’ on the state pension could force many to reconsider their retirement plans.
A survey from over-50s advocacy group Rest Less found that one-third of its retired members had either returned to work or would consider doing so. But the motivation for doing so was not all financial. Asked why they would consider going back to work:
- 32% said for mental and social stimulation
- 12% said because of increases in the cost of living
- 8% said to top up their pensions
- 47% said it was a mix of all of these reasons
Stuart Lewis, Chief Executive of Rest Less, said: “An early retirement can often seem like a dream when you’re stuck in the thick of the daily grind but for many, giving up work abruptly can also result in a loss of structure, social connections and purpose which can leave people feeling lost at times.
“At the same time, with spiraling inflation and volatile financial markets impacting pension funds, some people who thought they could retire comfortably during the pandemic are now having to unretire and find work again to bring in some extra income and top up their pensions whilst they still can.”
For more information about flexible working and working through an umbrella company, speak to a member of the team today. Call: 01625 544 460.