Four out of 10 over 50s who left the workforce for good during the pandemic might be tempted back, if they were were offered more favourable working arrangements, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.
The survey, carried out last month found more than half would change their mind to spend time with colleagues and for addiional income, but one in three cited flexible working as the most important aspect, followed by home working (18%) and consideration for caring obligations (16%).
Of the four in ten, the ONS survey, carried out last month, found more than half would change their mind to spend time with colleagues and for the additional income, with one in three cited flexible working as the most important aspect.
Punter Southall Aspire CEO Steve Butler urges employers to value more highly older colleagues and to work to bring them back to employment.
He says: “We’ve had the ‘Great Resignation’ and now seem to be going through the ‘Great Retirement’ [with increased numbers of over 50s leaving the workplace]. But with a new spirit, we can foster the ‘Great Return’ by updating our perspective on what the over 50s can contribute to our economy in the 21st century.
“At a time when we collectively need the experience of mature colleagues in a turbulent economy, companies should be focusing on how they can retain knowledge and skills which will be invaluable.”
He says this snapshot survey shows that just under half could be persuaded to return if businesses build on the widespread success of hybrid working which helped many weather the pandemic.
Previous data from ONS at the end of 202, showed 170,000 fewer over 50s employed compared to pre-pandemic levels, and over 50s were facing the largest number of redundancies of any age group – over 39,000 between August and October 2021.
Butler has published four books, including Manage the Gap: Achieving success with intergenerational teams, which looks at the impact of an ageing population on the workforce, and why companies need to focus on employees at every stage of their career, including older workers, who are often overlooked.
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