Press release: UK employers asked to publish age data in support of Business Champion older workers target

 

  • Aviva, Atos, Barclays, The Co-operative Group, Home Instead Senior Care, Mercer, Boots UK and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme first to commit to 2022 target and to publish age data
  • Business Champion for Older Workers asks employers to sign up to ‘Commit & Publish’ pledge to secure one million more UK older workers by 2022 
  • UK charity Business in the Community backs call and publishes new guidance for employers

 

Tuesday 23 May: Today, the Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers, Andy Briggs, is calling on UK employers to publicly commit to employing 12% more older workers by 2022 and to publish their workforce data by age. UK charity Business in the Community, who will publish the data on their website, backs this call to action and has published guidance to support employers to publish this data. viva, Atos, Barclays, The Co-operative Group, Home Instead Senior Care, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), Mercer, and Boots UK are the first employers to publically pledge their commitment to meeting this target and have already published their age data.

As Business Champion, Andy, together with the Business in the Community’s Age at Work Leadership Team, set a UK target in February for employers to recruit one million more older workers by 2022. To ensure the UK stays on track to achieving this target, the Business Champion, supported by Business in the Community, is now urging every UK employer to:

  • Commit today to collaborating to meet the one million more target and as a starting point to employ 12% more older workers by 2022, and;
  • Publish the number and percentage of older workers in their workforce by the end of 2017.

Publishing workforce data by age will enable tracking of the UK’s progress towards the target, and this transparency will encourage more employers to adapt to and benefit from an older workforce.  

Andy, who is CEO of Aviva UK Life, as well as Government Business Champion for Older Workers and Chair of the Business in the Community Age at Work Leadership Team, said: “The UK is facing a colossal skills gap, and older workers are vital to filling it. Businesses can show leadership here, through committing to real change and actively seeking to recruit more over 50s into their organisations. By being open about the progress they are making, they can also lead the way in demonstrating the benefits of having a diverse team of employees that represents all sections of society.

“Aviva is proud to be one of the first employers to publicly commit to 12% more older workers by 2022 and to publish workforce data by age. Currently, around 19% of our workforce is over 50 – and we will improve on this over time.  We hope to exceed rather than just meet the 12% target. Having employees with the life experience and maturity, who can fully relate to our customers, is hugely valuable, and the over 50s are essential to this.    

“Transparency around workforce data is good corporate governance and I hope Aviva’s open approach will encourage more employers to join Commit & Publish and help us in achieving this collective goal.” 

Rachael Saunders, Age at Work Director at Business in the Community, said: “The UK simply cannot meet its growth and productivity objectives without adapting to retain, recruit and develop people aged over 50. We have an ageing society and it is essential that employers act now to ensure employees can stay in work for longer and to support career changes in later life. We are calling on every UK employer to show their support today by publically committing to 12% more older workers by 2022 and pledging to publish their workforce data by age by the end of this calendar year.”

An ageing society and workforce:

  • The average age in the UK is now 40, 10 years older that it was in 1974.
  • By 2020, one in three of the working age population will be over 50 and by 2030 half of all adults in the UK will be over 50. 
  • By 2022, 14.5 million more jobs will be created but only 7 million younger workers will enter the workforce – leaving 7.5 million roles unfilled. 
  • Age bias means the UK employment rate drops to 64% at aged 60, from 83% at aged 50.

 

Business in the Community has produced a guide to support all employers to Commit & Publish their workforce data by age, including for their workers over the age of 50. The guidance and the form where employers can publish their data is available online: http://age.bitc.org.uk/BusinessChampion/Commitandpublish 

Find out what data each of the first eight employers has published as part of their Commit & Publish support: http://age.bitc.org.uk/BusinessChampion/Commitandpublish/workforcedata

The Government appointed Andy Briggs, CEO of Aviva UK Life, as its Business Champion for Older Workers alongside the Business in the Community Age at Work Leadership Team, of which he is Chair. The Business Champion is tasked with supporting businesses to retain, retrain and recruit older workers. In February 2017, the Business Champion launched a target of one million more older workers by 2022. To reach this, every UK business will need to, on average, increase the number of older people they employ by 12%.

Find out more about the Business Champion role: http://age.bitc.org.uk/BusinessChampion

Find out more about the target of one million more older workers by 2022: http://age.bitc.org.uk/news-opinion/news/press-release-business-champion-older-workers-calls-million-more-older-people-work

 

ENDS

 

Quotes from Atos, The Co-op Group, the FSCS, Home Instead Senior Care, and Mercer:

David Haley, SVP Business Transformation Services (BTS) – UK&I, Atos: “We already have a strong representation of workers over 50 in our organisation, and we are committed to continuing to make the most of their talent and experience. Our next priority is to maximise the engagement and motivation of all our employees, with age as no barrier. We recognise the importance of enabling all employees to succeed at work and that’s why we support Business in the Community’s call for employers to commit and publish their data on older workers.”

Helen Webb, Chief HR Officer, at the Co-op Group: “Many older workers choose to work for the Co-op, some will have been with us for years, others may have had another career, and come to us later in life; learnt new skills, whilst perhaps balancing work with caring or other responsibilities. We are committed to supporting the Business in the Community One Million More target, and we are glad to be amongst the first to publish our older workers data today.”

Martin Jones, Managing Director, Home Instead Senior Care: “For Home Instead Senior Care, the relationships between our clients and our Care Givers are vital to the excellence of our service.  We are committed to recruiting older people, because they have so much in common with the people we care for, as well as a wealth of skills and experience to offer.  We are delighted to be one of the first organisations to commit to the One Million More target set by Business in the Community’s Age at Work Leadership Team, and to publish our own data today.”

David Blackburn, Head of People, Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS): “Many of our customers are older, so employing people who can relate effectively to them, whether online, on the phone or in person, is vital.  Our midlife career reviews have helped us gain additional insight into the needs, hopes and ambitions of our older workers, and we will now build on that.  That’s why we’re supporting the Business in the Community Age at Work Leadership Team’s target to get one million more older people into work by 2022.”

Fiona Dunsire, UK CEO, Mercer: “In our business, we support many other organizations with their response to an ageing population and the associated impact on UK businesses as their workforce demographics change. We support employers on the many diverse issues that are now arising such as supporting working carers, maintaining diversity and longer term workforce planning challenges. I want to make sure we are making the most of our own older talent as well. I am particularly committed to ensuring that individuals caring for family members are supported at work. Business in the Community’s One Million More target, and Commit and Publish call to action, are a great opportunity for all employers to show their commitment to supporting older workers and I encourage you to sign up today.”

 

Sources:
“The average age in the UK is now 40, 10 years older that it was in 1974”. Source: ONS (2016) Overview of the UK population: February 2016 How are the characteristics of the UK changing?

“By 2020, 1 in 3 of the working age population will be over 50 and by 2030 half of all adults in the UK will be over 50”. Source: DWP Policy paper ‘2010 to 2015 government policy: older people’, 2015.

“By 2022, 14.5 million more jobs will be created but only 7 million younger workers will enter the workforce – leaving 7.5 million roles unfilled”. Source: ‘The Missing Million: Recommendations for Action’, Business in the Community 2015.

“UK employment rate drops to 64% at aged 60, from 83% at aged 50”. Source: Business Champion for Older Workers’ Target action plan 2016, Labour Force Survey statistics 2015.

Notes to Editors
To request an interview or more information please contact Rachel Morrod, rachel.morrod@instinctif.com, 0207 427 1431 or Rebecca Gregory, Rebecca.Gregory@bitc.org.uk, 0207 566 6670.

The Business Champion for Older Workers’ target is based on modelling of labour market participation drop off rates, using government data, undertaken by Business in the Community, the Centre for Ageing Better and the Resolution Foundation. More information on the target can be found here:  http://age.bitc.org.uk/BusinessChampion.

The Business Champion of Older Workers role is held by the Business in the Community Age at Work Leadership Team: http://age.bitc.org.uk/membership/leadershipteam

 

About Business in the Community
Business in the Community is the Prince’s Responsible Business Network. Our members work together to tackle a wide range of issues that are essential to building a fairer society and a more sustainable future. Responsible business is about how a business makes its money not just how it spends its profit. It is about managing growth responsibly while reducing dependency on natural resources. It is about how the business operates as an employer, supplier and customer and how as a neighbour it helps to create vibrant communities where people can flourish. We are a business-led, issue focused charity with more than 30 years’ experience of mobilising business. We engage thousands of businesses through our programmes driven by our core membership of over 800 organisations from small enterprises to global corporations.

The Age at Work campaign at Business in the Community is committed to ensuring that an ageing population has equal access to employment, supporting employers to prevent early exit from working life, support later life working and support intergenerational workforces. In September 2016, the campaign’s Leadership Team was appointed the Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers, tasked with leading work to support businesses to recruit, retain and retrain older workers and to identify and share demonstrable solutions for employers. http://age.bitc.org.uk/

Press release updated 25 May 2017.