What will employers have to consider in the wake of the Fuller Working Lives report, asks Helen Swire

Older workforce

Do you ever get the feeling that someone is trying to tell you something? Older employees in the UK may well be getting that impression at the moment.

The government announced in early February their new strategy to encourage the over-50s to stay in work in the Fuller Working Lives report. This publication that comes hot on the heels of the decision at the end of 2016 to consult on the possible introduction of grandparent leave into the workforce, and also follows the abolition of the default retirement age back in 2011.

Fuller Working Lives also focuses on the challenges people face in terms of caring responsibilities, and having introduced the right to request flexible working for all employees, it seems likely that employers will start to see a move towards a new, more fluid working pattern.

While the report has been welcomed by many, it’s no simple task for employers to accommodate increasingly older workers. Alongside the conversations about new working hours and different leave systems, there are also considerations about the benefits offered: an ageing workforce will naturally have different priorities, whether that’s in terms of healthcare, financial wellness or even communications. These will all have to be taken into account by employers – and all the while ensuring that any changes made are not to the detriment of younger workers.

Reward has been learning interesting lessons from employers who have shown best practice in engaging and caring for all of their staff members, regardless of age and life stage. And many of our VIB winners have excelled in this, too.

Are you meeting the challenges of a diverse or ageing workforce? Employers can enter this year’s VIB awards here: http://awards.reward-guide.co.uk/vib/

We’re looking forward to finding even more examples of how companies have innovated their benefits strategies to suit an ever-changing workforce, so enter now!