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Active ageing at work: the employers’ point of view

In the context of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012, the European employers’ organisations BUSINESSEUROPE, CEEP and UEAPME, supported by the European Commission, have developed a project on age management policies in enterprises across Europe. The final synthesis called “Employers’ Practices for Active Ageing” was published in December 2012.

Teamwork across age

© Yuri Arcurs / Fotolia

The goal of the project was to underline the important role of employers’ organisations and individual employers in achieving a form of active age management in the workplace. The three organisations consider that “older workers should be encouraged to stay longer in work and employers [should] recruit and retain them”. Furthermore, the project has developed some recommendations on how active ageing should be addressed at EU level and what further actions employers should take to implement flexible working conditions and knowledge transfer.

European institutions and active ageing

After the European Year for Active Ageing, the EU institutions are now striving to implement all the measures and recommendations they have developed during the year 2012.

In terms of active ageing at work, the institutions support various projects and initiatives promoting employment opportunities for older workers, such as a project carried out by the European Policy Centre and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, and a brochure on the importance of promoting senior entrepreneurship. Moreover, to conclude the European Year, the Council of the EU agreed on Guiding Principles for active ageing and solidarity between generations, which include age management strategies, prevention of age discrimination at work and transfer of experience.

What do enterprises say?

According to the project, staff surveys prove that older workers show more commitment and engagement with their workplace and better performance than young workers when it comes to problem solving and leadership. Thus, supporting employees in continuing in their job for longer has real benefits in terms of staff productivity and retention.

Some enterprises use special training for their recruitment professionals to eliminate any remaining negative stereotypes of older workers, to ensure that the recruitment system is not discriminatory, and to address the social and economic benefits of recruiting them also as mentors, tutors or trainers for inexperienced colleagues.

Further reading

European employer organisations call policy-makers to create the necessary conditions for an effective ageing in the workplace / European Commission, Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, news from the 08/02/2013

Goldenworkers presents a road map for ICT adoption in the field of active ageing at work / Europa, European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, January 2013

Labour Law in a Greying Labour market – Challenges of Active Ageing  / European Labour Law Network, Seminar Report, October 2012

2012: European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations / Library keysource, 2012

Discussion

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