1. bookVolume 10 (2019): Issue 1 (April 2019)
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19 Sep 2012
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Responses to an Ageing Workforce: Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom

Published Online: 09 May 2019
Page range: 120 - 137
Received: 17 Apr 2018
Accepted: 12 Nov 2018
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
19 Sep 2012
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Copyright
© 2020 Sciendo

Background: An ageing workforce is a challenge for businesses that are increasingly expected to adapt workplaces to enable employees to remain in work longer. Emerging evidence highlights employer practices to attract or retain older workers. This paper explores employers’ motivations for introducing measures to accommodate an older workforce in three European case study countries. Objectives: The objective is to illustrate and understand different approaches to, and stages in, adjusting workplaces to accommodate an ageing workforce. Methods/Approach: The study combines case studies, including site visits and interviews, with expert consultations. Results: The research finds marked between-country differences, with United Kingdom case studies highlighting a strong emphasis on age-neutral practices shaped by legislation; age-confident practices in Germany resulting from collaborative arrangement between employers and trades unions (with legislation permissive towards age discrimination); business in Spain remaining relatively inactive, despite evidence of people expecting to work longer in life. Conclusions: Diverging employer motivations and responses to the challenge of an ageing workforce risk a multi-speed Europe in age-confident workplace innovation. A concerted effort that draws on the multiple factors that motivate initiative would be required to achieve good working conditions for older workers across Europe.

Keywords

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