Governments must take further action to boost job opportunities at an older age

old oecd

(Huyen Nguyen, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with OECD.

In the face of rapid population ageing, governments must promote more and better job opportunities at an older age to protect living standards and the sustainability of public finances, according to a new OECD report.

Working Better with Age
projects that, based on current retirement patterns, the number of older people (50+) out of the labour force because of inactivity or retirement who will need to be supported by each worker could rise by around 40% from 42 per 100 workers in 2018 to 58 per 100 workers in 2050 on average in the OECD area. In some countries such as Italy, Greece and Poland, there could be nearly as many or more older people out of the labour force as workers by 2050.
But by delaying the average age at which older workers leave the workforce as well as reducing the gender gap in labour force participation at younger ages, this average rise for the OECD area could be cut to just 9%. “The fact that people are living longer and in better health is an achievement to be celebrated,” said Stefano Scarpetta, OECD Director of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, at the launch of the report in Tokyo. “But rapid population ageing will require concerted policy action to promote active ageing so as to offset its potentially serious consequences for living standards and public finances.”
The report stresses that much progress has been made to encourage older workers to continue to work up until the age of 65 and beyond in some OECD countries. Nevertheless, in virtually all OECD countries, the effective age at which older people exit the labour market is still lower today than it was 30 years ago, despite a higher number of remaining years of life. This is explained by a combination of poor incentives to continue working at an older age, employer reluctance to hire and retain older workers, and underinvestment in employability throughout working lives.
Further measures are required in many countries to ensure that work at an older age is encouraged and not penalised. Employment regulations as well as seniority wages should be reviewed and reformed where necessary so as to boost labour demand for older workers and discourage the use of precarious forms of employment after a certain age. Greater flexibility in working time and better working conditions more generally are also needed to promote higher participation at all ages. For example, long working hours may deter some older people from working longer and prevent some women, returning from child-rearing breaks, from pursuing longer work careers. Poor working conditions at a younger age may lead to poor health and earlier retirement at an older age.
It is also important to invest in older workers’ skills, says the OECD. Many of them exhibit lower levels of digital readiness than their children and grandchildren, and they participate much less in job-related training than younger workers. “One key factor preventing older workers from closing the skill gap with younger employees lies in the fact that the employers usually do not see the benefits of investing in the training of their older employees”, said Stefano Scarpetta. “Providing good opportunities for workers to upgrade their skills and learn new ones throughout their working careers is a key requirement for fostering longer working lives in good quality jobs”.
In line with the OECD Council Recommendation on Ageing and Employment in 2015, the OECD recommends governments take further action in three broad areas, namely:

  • Reward work at an older age by: i) ensuring that the old-age pension system encourages and rewards later retirement in line with increased life expectancy, and providing more flexibility in work-retirement transitions; ii) restricting the use of publicly funded early-retirement schemes and discouraging mandatory retirement by employers; and iii) ensuring welfare benefits are used to provide income support for those unable to work or actively seeking work and not as de facto early-retirement schemes.
  • Encourage employers to retain and hire older workers by: i) addressing age discrimination in recruitment, promotion and retention; ii) seeking a better match between the labour costs and productivity of older workers by working with the social partners to review pay-setting practices and eliminating special employment protection rules based on age; and iii) encouraging good practice by employers in managing an age-diverse workforce.
  • Promote the employability of workers throughout their working lives by: i) improving access to lifelong learning and skills recognition; ii) improving working conditions and job quality at all ages; and iii) providing effective employment assistance for older workers facing job loss or wishing to find another job.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Collaboration: the key to success in the digital economy

InvestEU Fund: boost for sustainable, innovative and social investment

DR Congo elections: ‘Excessive use of force’ in campaign must be avoided, says Bachelet

New seat projections for the next European Parliament

As coronavirus spreads to poorer countries, here’s how the world can help

Want to cut greenhouse gas emissions? Look to digital technologies

How digital is your country? Europe needs Digital Single Market to boost its digital performance

Building cybersecurity capacity through benchmarking: the Global Cybersecurity Index

Google prepares to final EU judgement over Android antitrust case

Tax evasion and fraud threaten the European project

Why we need both science and humanities for a Fourth Industrial Revolution education

Coronavirus: harmonised standards for medical devices to respond to urgent needs

Global immunization is having its annual check-up. What can we learn?

German and French bankers looted the Irish and Spanish unemployed

Impacting society with digital ingenuity – World Summit Award proclaiming the top 8 worldwide

UN chief condemns attack targeting international forces in northern Mali

Ten reasons to be optimistic in 2019

Why the World Cup is a bit like international trade

Does the Greek deal strengthen the Eurozone? Markets react cautiously

Why practicing medicine privately at home is still a (difficult) option?

Germany loves a strong euro; the new Fiscal Councils can deliver despite the Greek chaos and a wider questioning of austerity

New chapters in EU-China trade disputes

Escalation in Syria fighting cause for ‘great concern’ says UN chief, dozens more civilians dead or injured

‘Crippling to our credibility’ that number of women peacekeepers is so low: UN chief

80 million Chinese people no longer pay income tax

Bosnia and Herzegovina: MEPs concerned by slow progress in EU-related reforms

EP launches Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism on anniversary of her murder

US migrant children policy reversal, still ‘fails’ thousands of detained youngsters: UN rights experts

UN working ‘intensively’ to stop Ebola in eastern DR Congo, following second case in major border town

EU regions get additional 47.5 billion EUR to tackle local effects of COVID-19

Saudi Arabia must halt air strikes in Yemen, says UN panel

Four things Turkey did for business in the G20

Could play be a game-changer for the world’s forests?

The number of internally displaced people is at a record high. Here’s why

Alarming level of reprisals against activists, human rights defenders, and victims – new UN report

Long-term EU budget: It is not possible to do more with less, say MEPs

In Gaza, UN envoy urges Israel, Palestinian factions to step back from brink of a war that ‘everybody will lose’

Here’s how blockchain could fight illegal fishing and help tuna stocks recover

Global spotlight on world drug problem ‘is personal’ for many families, says UN chief

Four ways innovation can help to beat heart disease

Yemen: Major UN aid boost for ‘up to 14 million’ as country risks becoming a land of ‘living ghosts’

Tobacco is harming the planet, not just our health, says new study

Australian homes are turning to solar power in record numbers

‘Wanton destruction’ in Sudan’s Darfur region, ‘blatant violation’ of international law

How public transportation provides key lifelines during COVID-19

Environmental labelling, information and management schemes are central to the circular economy

State aid: Commission approves €2.9 billion public support by twelve Member States for a second pan-European research and innovation project along the entire battery value chain

We can’t rid Asia of natural disasters. But we can prepare for them

Access to health and guarantee of sexual and reproductive rights as a way of eradicating HIV

Repression, use of force risk worsening Bolivia crisis: UN human rights chief

Has the treacherous theory about the ‘French patient’ finally prevailed?

Social Entrepreneurship in the times of the refugee crisis

Binding legislation needed to stop EU-driven global deforestation, say MEPs

Venezuela’s needs ‘significant and growing’ UN humanitarian chief warns Security Council, as ‘unparalleled’ exodus continues

The challenges of mental health among the Syrian medical students

4 ways to build resilience to digital risks in the COVID-19 era

Retirees will outlive their savings by a decade

How technology can help us achieve universal healthcare

‘Over-reacting is better than non-reacting’ – academics around the world share thoughts on coronavirus

EU-China Leaders’ meeting: Delivering results by standing firm on EU interests and values

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s