Chapter

Flexible work and older workers

Wendy Loretto, Sarah Vickerstaff and Phil White

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/9781847424181.003.0009
Flexible work and older workers

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In the context of the UK government, the goal of extending lives and encouraging people to exit late from the work force is believed to be achievable by the availability of flexible working arrangements, such as part-time work, temporary work and self-employment. To prolong working lives, the UK government has taken various steps such as the establishment of an Extending Working Life group within the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP); regulations to fight age discrimination in the workplace; the raising of women's state pension age (SPA); and an increase in opportunity for people to defer receipt of their state pension. In addition, the White Paper on pension reform published proposals for furthering raising the state pension age to the age of sixty-eight. While there are many actions and reforms on state pensions, little is known about the existing patterns of flexible working among older workers or on the aspirations and motivation of older workers with respect to flexible work options. This chapter discusses these issues, drawing on work undertaken for the Equal Opportunities Commission. The first chapter discusses the analysis of the Labour Force Survey (LPS) performed from January to May 2006 to provide a picture of the existing patterns of employment among older workers. The second section continues this analysis of the LPS to consider the current patterns of flexible working and the gender differences in these. The third section reviews existing research, which considers the kind of flexible work options that older people need and what informs their needs. The fourth section focuses on the issues from the employer's perspective. It also investigates the extent to which organisations are likely to increase the range of flexible working options available. The last section concludes by exploring what the consequences are if flexible work was more widely available and whether this would provide advantages or disadvantages for older workers.

Keywords: UK government; flexible working arrangements; working lives; Labour Force Survey; flexible working; flexible work options; older workers

Chapter.  8644 words. 

Subjects: Gerontology and Ageing

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