Older employees under pressure

In a research article published this month, PSI's Michael White argues that if employees have to work for longer before retirement, it is only fair to improve their working conditions and make jobs more attractive.

But there's little chance of that in a Britain of increasing work pressure, driven by global competition. The signs, in fact, all point to older employees getting increasingly discontented with the deal on offer.

Not so long ago, employees could look forward to extra perks and an easier work regime as they moved towards retirement. This motivated employees at all ages to become loyal to the organisation. But with the emphasis on cost-cutting, employers have enforced a leaner/meaner regime of long hours and tight controls likely to hurt the older employee most.

Michael White draws on national surveys to prove the point. These show that over the 1990s and into the 2000s, older employees expressed deteriorating attitudes to their organisations compared with the younger section of the workforce.

He concludes that government and employers have failed to deal fairly with older employees by allowing a declining quality of working life along with the enforced delay of retirement.

For further details, see the article, Older employees under pressure?, in the June 2012 issue of Work, Employment and Society.