Age UK has published a report that outlines recommendations for the government and employers around the benefits of offering flexible working to older employees.
In the report, A means to many ends, Age UK expresses the concern that not enough is being done to support older workers to enter, and remain in, employment.
The report outlines recommendations for the government, which include:
- Implementing its proposal to extend the right to request to all employees without delay.
- Removing the 26-week qualifying period before the right to request becomes available to new employees.
- Setting a longer-term objective for all jobs to be flexible by default by 2020.
- Establishing a fund to help employers meet the costs of any adjustments made through the introduction of flexible working.
- Promoting flexible working and disseminating good practice guidance as widely as possible.
The report also outlines recommendations for employers, which include:
- That all jobs should be designed with flexibility in mind, and employers should adopt the flexible-by-default mindset.
- That requests for flexible working from applicants be welcomed. This could include a statement on job adverts stating that they will be considered, and that line managers recognise the benefits and embrace flexibility.
- Recognising that flexibility is a tool to get the most out of older workers, for example, by allowing them to manage their personal needs.
- Working with employees to ensure that performance can be properly measured regardless of working pattern.
- Raising the awareness of caring needs among employers, coupled with good practice guidance about how to be responsive as situations arise.
- Examining how flexible working can interact with other services and benefits, for example, their occupational health policy or pension scheme.