Older workers experiencing long-term health conditions

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A report details that employers are not supporting older workers experiencing long-term physical and mental health conditions.

The report is based on research of over 1,000 people who are managing health conditions in the workplace. It found that older workers are be managing multiple long-term conditions and health conditions are the main driver of older workers exiting the labour market before they reach pensionable age.

Employers must take responsibility for their older workforce. In doing so, workers will be able to continue working for longer. Older workers should be able to feel that they can be honest with their employers and share their long-term health conditions so that companies can be more understanding and therefore employees can feel less pressured.

To ensure older workers do not stop work before pensionable age their health needs to be maintained and long-term conditions should not count against them, whereas the findings show that this is often the case.

An extract from the Report:

Employers should ...

  • Normalise conversations around health at work and create a supportive, empathetic andopen culture around managing health conditions at work.
  • Ensure full and equal access to support for health at work, including flexible workingand workplace adjustments for all employees. These adjustments are often small andinexpensive and employers should provide them proactively and consistently.
  • Ensure adjustments and support are sustained.

Nearly one quarter (23%) of 50-64 year olds report two or more long-term health conditions compared to only 15% of 25-49 year olds*

*Source: APS July 2015 to June 2016, as cited in DWP (2017)

To read the full Report, please click here.