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C. Robert Senior Flex - eSangathan International Conference


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C. Robert Senior Flex - eSangathan International Conference

  1. 1. SeniorFlex, asbl association founded in 2003 fighting age discrimination, representing and valorizing active seniors. 45+ Seniors Are they profitable? Are they flexible to remain active? - e-Sangathan Conference - Brussels 2008 SeniorFlex
  2. 2. SeniorFlex , in Belgium and in France - e-Sangathan Conference - Brussels 2008
  3. 3. 1° obstacles: Stubborn persistent biases against seniors’ activity, outdated legislation, no longer suitable in a changing society. <ul><ul><li>Reduced social benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discouraging plurality of revenue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Isolation becomes a real handicap </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-confidence gradually declining , then lost. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experience is considered as a weakness rather than an asset </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Field experience has no value nor equivalence with certificates and diplomas . </li></ul></ul> - e-Sangathan Conference - Brussels 2008
  4. 4. 2° obstacles: Rigid legal framework for diversified needs <ul><li>Full time and unlimited duration work-contracts are still </li></ul><ul><li>the general basic approach to work. </li></ul><ul><li>Independent work means contributing under a permanent Social Security Statute, whenever it really means a sporadic and risky activity. </li></ul><ul><li>Pensions tend to standardize toward the lower end and don’t correspond to the level of living standards any longer. </li></ul><ul><li>Heavy taxation aggravates social unbalance. </li></ul><ul><li>Law doesn’t allow some forms of work (“portage salarial”) </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible work is less favorably seen , same as working outside the enterprise (Teleworking/Distance-working) </li></ul> - e-Sangathan Conference - Brussels 2008
  5. 5. Where does such a waste of competences come from? <ul><li>Early retirement : used for easiness, as financial alternative, for bad reasons, during 30 years and more </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To avoid junior’s unemployment, so to say </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To facilitate restructuring or reorganization plans or even closing of enterprises. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To avoid high pay packages when tariffs are based on age, instead of competences. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Several perverse effects of so-called protective legislation . </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Age discrimination for Hiring </li></ul><ul><li>Better quality of life, & living longer in good shape , creates new needs & Social Securty unbalance </li></ul> - e-Sangathan Conference - Brussels 2008
  6. 6. And easy - everlasting biases , ill-founded… <ul><li>On the contrary , Seniors are: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Motivated because their activity is either a choice or a necessity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Efficient, because they have learned from their passed experiences, bad or good. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rapidly operational , since used to many diverse organizations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Eager to transmit their know-how and to learn new competencies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Very creative when included in intergenerational teams , where all assets are respected and welcome. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible, since they don’t need to build a career nor to work full time all the time. </li></ul></ul></ul> - e-Sangathan Conference - Brussels 2008
  7. 7. Seniors must unite, support each other, make themselves heard and show the value of their know how for the country’s economy. <ul><li>Shortage of competencies is arriving first, and shortage of workers, afterwards </li></ul><ul><li>Professions, Crafts are disappearing, Cultural changes are forgotten, Know How is lost ( i.e. 2000’ s Bug) </li></ul><ul><li>Seniors can help juniors to integrate faster, by means of intergenerational Mentoring/”Tutorates” </li></ul><ul><li>The country ‘s productivity must increase to cover the new needs of the economy. (FMI 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>« Employment generates employment.» </li></ul> - e-Sangathan Conference - Brussels 2008
  8. 8. Flexicurity, this new European concept <ul><li>Labour laws or «  a job for life  » must become more flexible and integrate mobility, and the use of new technologies (Teleworking, part timers , portage etc . </li></ul><ul><li>Remuneration must be based on competencies and the resulting performance ( Neither on seniority nor hierarchical position) </li></ul><ul><li>Recruitment becoming a vital necessity and shortage increasing, </li></ul><ul><li>competencies should become the first criterium for recruitment instead of certificates alone , and theoretical ideal profiles... </li></ul><ul><li>Adapting working conditions to the needs of the individual and not the reverse. </li></ul><ul><li>To Manage competencies and careers. </li></ul><ul><li>Regular communication and Training , to keep abreast of changing circumstances. </li></ul> - e-Sangathan Conference - Brussels 2008
  9. 9. SeniorFlex and its action <ul><ul><li>Unity is Strength </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To be listened to , you must be represented , as a group member. </li></ul><ul><li>Modify too collective and general a legislation to allow for an individual answer to the needs of the co-contractors </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt the flexicurity concept into the new frame of working conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>Change the mentalities , promote new forms of activity and the possibility to have additional revenues on top of social benefits </li></ul> - e-Sangathan Conference - Brussels 2008
  10. 10. France & Belgium, same challenge? <ul><li>Legislations are quite different, but </li></ul><ul><li>the rate of senior activity is too low in both countries! </li></ul><ul><li>We must inspire our governments </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>to learn from neighbouring countries’ experiences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>to set up a more attractive and interesting legal framework </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>for both enterprises and seniors. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Continuous Training is key for this whole new society . </li></ul><ul><li>New Technologies and Teleworking techniques </li></ul><ul><li>must be mastered by the Seniors and taken into account in the new legal rules of working conditions </li></ul><ul><li>The legal environment must allow, open up, encourage, and incite, instead of forbidding, pursuing, punishing and setting apart. </li></ul><ul><li>The French Government listens to the seniors, but Belgium’s doesn’t… </li></ul> - e-Sangathan Conference - Brussels 2008