NICE updates guidance to cover older workers

Employees aged over 50 will account for almost a third of the working population by 2020

Older workers should not be stereotyped or unsupported in the workplace, according to updated guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

The institute defines ‘older’ employees as ‘people aged over 50’.

The update comes as analysts at the Office for National Statistics predict that, by 2020, older people will account for almost a third (32%) of the working population due to the increase in state pension age and longer life expectancy.

NICE recommends that managers should not assume older workers will find learning new tasks difficult. However, it also advises against assuming that older workers are more dependable than younger members of staff.

Should an older person's job role change significantly, the guidance suggests encouraging him or her to undertake training, and ring-fencing time to ensure this occurs.

The institute also recommends ensuring older people can maintain their health by giving them time off to attend appointments such as eye examinations or cervical screening.

Other guidance includes offering carer’s leave or flexible working to care for grandchildren or parents.

NICE deputy chief executive and director of health and social care Gillian Leng said protecting the health and wellbeing of older staff is essential to maintain a healthy and diverse workforce.

She added: ‘Our recommendations will support older employees and help keep them in employment for longer.’

For the full guidance click here

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