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Every worker should be able to do their job flexibly unless a business can justify otherwise, according to a new Age UK report, A Means to Many Ends.
Flexible working practices include working from home, doing flexitime or different working hours, or simply being able to swap shifts.
Age UK believes that an important way to unleash the full potential of Britain’s older workers, many of whom are unable to work conventional hours because of caring responsibilities and the need to balance other personal issues with work, is to change the UK’s traditional and more rigid approach to work.
These changes, the charity says, would enable older people to use their years of experience to contribute to the economy and extend their working lives. This would also de-stigmatise flexible working and encourage employers to examine how the practice could benefit their organisation.
Age UK’s Charity Director General, Michelle Mitchell said, ‘With their skills and knowledge, older workers are an invaluable asset to the UK economy. Yet, far too many people aged 50 and over are locked out of the job market because they are unable to work conventional hours, often because they have to care for a relative or have health issues.’
‘In these tough economic times when the UK needs to make the most of its resources, it is just common sense for the Government and employers to embrace flexible working.’
According to Age UK’s report, there are currently nearly 900,000 people in the UK working past the age of 64 and nearly 8 million people aged 50-64 who are economically active. But a further 735,000 people aged 50 and over want to work but are economically inactive. Factors including the UK’s ageing population, rising State Pension age and poor private pension return, mean in the future this number is likely to get even bigger.
The report’s recommendations seem sensible, yet overlook the practicalities of how difficult it can be for smaller employers to accommodate flexible working. Also, it fails to place sufficient emphasis on the fact that a desire to work flexibly in later life is by no means solely related to need. Many older people simply want to work flexibly rather than continuing the full-time grind, and could be tempted to remain economically active or to return to the workplace if more flexible working options were available in jobs other than retail and similar industries.
We have compiled a collection of vital information relating to the world of Equality that will provide you and your organisation with the necessary facts & figures to improve your understanding of the law, the business sense and the supporting facts for recruiting a diverse workforce.
The Business sense:
Besides it being both a legal requirement and an ethical approach to employing people there are good business reasons why an employer should explore all avenues to find the best person for the job and have a staff which is as diverse at least as its customers. We have compiled easily digestible points for why a diverse work place makes business sense.
Britain's Diverse population:
Did you know:
- There are almost 61 million people living in the United Kingdom, slightly more women than men.
- Nearly 31 million of us are working or actively looking for work (most of the rest are under 16 or are retired).
- Around 3.5 million disabled people are in employment – around one in eight of all working age people in employment.
- 45% of the UK population identify themselves as having no religious belief (though they may hold non-religious beliefs, such as Humanism). 47.5% of people say they are Christian, while 3.3% are Muslim, 1.4% Hindu, 0.5% Jewish, 0.2% Sikh, 0.2% Buddhist and 1.4% other non-Christian religions.
- HM Treasury Actuaries estimate that 6% of people are attracted to people of the same sex (lesbian women and gay men) or both the same and opposite sex (bisexual people)
Snapshot Facts and figures about Diversity
- 56% of refugees over 18 have a qualification
- 80% of the ethnic minority population is aged 16-35 with an annual disposable income of £32 billion
- 18% of the Working Population have a disability, which translates to 8.7 million in the UK, with an annual spending power of £50 billion
- 50% of working age in some urban areas will be ethnic minorities by 2010
- 8% of all new entrants into the labour force will be ethnic minorities by 2010
- In less than 7 years, only 20% of the UK workforce will be white, able-bodied men under 45
- 56% of refugees over 18 have a qualification
- By 2020 60% of the western population will be over 65
Ensuring your company or organisation complies with the equalities law is imperative. By using eQuality Recruitment, you will be taking the right steps to help ensure you are protected against discrimination practice in the recruitment process.
In order to fully understand the complexities of the law and to make sure you are compliant, we have put together a comprehensive list, provided by ACAS, that sets out the equalities law below.
EQUALITY ACT 2010
This information is provided by "acas" (www.acas.org.uk)