Executive Summary / Introduction
Andy Briggs, CEO, Aviva UK & Ireland Life and Chair of the Business in the Community Age at Work Leadership Team: “The UK has an ageing population and therefore an ageing workforce. The rising state pension age and the fact that most people are not saving enough for their retirement also creates a critical need for the industry to take action to ensure people can work longer, with opportunities that continue to be fulfilling and make best use of their skills and experience. This shift in demographics needs to be harnessed by business, not feared, because there are real advantages to any business in having a diverse and representative workforce.”
Our population is ageing, but employment isn’t working for many people over 50. While some can choose to retire, too many people are pushed out of work through redundancy or ill health, or because they need to balance work and care.
The need to retain, retrain and recruit older workers is becoming increasingly important. We no longer have a default retirement age but established social norms entrenched over a long period of time must be addressed to ensure that recruitment and progression are fair for men and women of all ages. Real change is needed to address age bias and discrimination.
This report sets out the barriers and obstacles to fulfilling work in later life, and describes the opportunities we have identified to drive real change. Business in the Community member organisations have allowed us to share their stories in this document, alongside those of our Leadership Team.
Although we are still in the early days of driving real change on age at work, and our recommendations are still being tested, we have defined the social injustice that we are determined to tackle, and the role that business can play in response. Now Business in the Community’s Age at Work Leadership Team, chaired by Andy Briggs, CEO, Aviva UK & Ireland Life, is leading the way in developing and testing solutions. We have adopted the government’s Retain, Retrain, Recruit mantra, and have three corresponding work streams, collaborating with the Centre for Ageing Better as a key partner, to drive the agenda forward.