Softworks Blog

Ageing workforce health issues to impact UK business

Posted by Triona Cahalane on Fri, Sep 21, 2012

Workforce ManagementThe latest Aviva Annual Health of the Workforce Report reveals that almost 30% of companies are already beginning to see alteration in their workforce demographics with nearly 40% believing that the ageing workforce and in particular their health issues will affect their company.

Issues such as the removal of the retirement age, increased financial pressures and life expectancy are contributing to the rise in the average age of the workforce with 37% expecting to see their workforce get older in the future. While 50% of employers believe that there are positive benefits for individuals working pass traditional retirement age, nearly 38% are worried how the health issues associated with this ageing workforce will impact their business in the long run.

The main health issue mentioned included concerns that older employees will be absent with more serious conditions/complications as compared to their younger workforce. Also mentioned was the need for the company to provide more assistance to this older workforce group in terms of reviewing support & benefits, addresses health issues with more tailored health advice and staff training in order to spot signs of serious illness such as heart attack. The need for flexible working hours for older employees may be a necessary introduction into the work place.

Dr Doug Wright, Aviva UK Health says: “Life expectancy has been increasing for some time now and we are clearly seeing more people working past the traditional retirement age to meet their financial commitments or to help keep themselves fit and active. With that, employers are undoubtedly going to see some employees with conditions that are more common in older people, such as certain forms of cancer and cardiovascular disorders.
“It’s encouraging to see from our report that employers recognise the role they hold in helping to keep their employees healthy – and in particular the need to adapt the support and benefits they offer to suit the differing healthcare needs of an older workforce.”