Chapter

Moving older people into jobs: Incapacity Benefit, Labour's reforms and the job shortfall in the UK regions

Christina Beatty and Steve Fothergill

in The future for older workers

Published by Policy Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9781847424181
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303800 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847424181.003.0005
Moving older people into jobs: Incapacity Benefit, Labour's reforms and the job shortfall in the UK regions

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Compared to its predecessors, the most recent Labour government in the UK was committed to raising employment among older workers. Through advice and active support, backed up in some cases by financial incentives, the aim was to increase the number of over-fifties in work and reduce dependency on welfare benefits. Since the election of Labour in 1997, the schemes targeted at older people proliferated, and further major reform was still planned at the time of writing. This chapter examines these initiatives with a critical perspective. Its central thesis is that although the new initiatives have undoubtedly proved helpful to many individuals, they fail to take account of the profound regional and local differences in the availability of jobs. This chapter begins by outlining the key features of the government's initiatives to help older people into jobs. The description is intentionally brief because much fuller versions can be found elsewhere, not least in departmental publications. The factors influencing the effectiveness of the initiatives are then explored. Full consideration is given to the pattern of employment and unemployment across the country, and the estimates of job shortfall affecting older workers in each region.

Keywords: Labour government; UK; employment; older workers; government's initiatives; older people; pattern of employment; unemployment

Chapter.  7216 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Gerontology and Ageing

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