As a nation, we are living longer, healthier lives. Combined with declining birth rates, the age profile of the British population is changing significantly. Consequently, so is that of the workforce.
The Department for Work and Pensions calculates there are currently around 1.4 million people over the current State Pension Age who are in work, including 800,000 over 65 years. At the same time, the number of young people of working age is falling. These changes make it vital for organisations to draw on the talents of older workers.
Change has also been driven by the law. In 2006, the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations were introduced, making it illegal to discriminate against workers on the grounds of age in recruitment, promotion and training. The Regulations also
introduced a Default Retirement Age of 65, with compulsory retirement ages below 65 only permitted if they could be objectively justified.
Further change can be expected. In 2010, the new Coalition Government announced its intention to phase out the Default Retirement Age altogether, allowing people more opportunity to extend their working lives in ways that address their own
needs. This will increase the personalisation of retirement ages and offer employers new opportunities to access the talent and skills needed to sustain business activities.