Approach to older workers barely changed in a decade, survey shows

Little has changed in the approach to keeping over-50s happily at work for longer in the past decade, and their value is underestimated by employers and colleagues. The findings come from employment agency Tempo-Team on Thursday, based on research carried out with KU Leuven.

In a 2013 survey by Tempo-Team, 40 per cent of employers said that loss of knowledge due to retirement was in danger of becoming a problem. Despite these fears, today only 11 per cent of companies are making specific efforts to avoid the brain drain caused by an ageing population.

“With the effects of an ageing population making themselves widely and rapidly felt in the workplace, there is still a lot of room for companies to guide their older employees towards working happily and contentedly for longer,” says Tempo-Team spokesperson Wim Van der Linden. “By creating an inclusive working environment, where older workers are valued and supported, we can ensure they remain active in the labour market.”

According to Tempo-Team, prejudices about older workers continue. In 2013, half of employees expressed prejudices about older workers in terms of their employability, health and motivation to learn. That number has fallen, but prejudices persist among about one in three workers.

The survey was conducted in November 2022 by an independent research firm on behalf of Tempo-Team and with professor Anja Van den Broeck of KU Leuven. About 2,500 employees and 250 employers in Belgium took part.


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