SMEs unprepared for older workforce

SMEs recognise the benefits of employing workers over 65 but many are not yet ready to meet the needs of an ageing workforce, a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has found.

The vast majority (86%) of SMEs questioned acknowledge the benefits of an age diverse workforce but only 25% have ever employed a mature worker.

The report found that many employers have introduced measures to support mature staff, despite a third of employers lacking provisions for older workers.

These include:

  • flexible working (34%)
  • flexible retirement policy (25%)
  • homeworking (22%).

The 3 main benefits of employing older workers are seen as:

  • improved knowledge sharing (56%)
  • better problem solving (34%)
  • enhanced customer service (21%).

Dianah Worman, public policy advisor at CIPD, said:

“Employers are currently missing a trick by not offering flexible working to all employees and by not adapting to the changing needs of a changing workforce. Healthcare, provision for employees with caring responsibilities – these are just some of the many things SMEs need to be thinking about now to prepare for the future.

“Failure to do so could mean they miss out on the full range of talent available, putting their business at a serious competitive disadvantage.”
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Contact us to discuss employee benefits.