A recent poll commissioned by Ageing Better reveals the scale of ageism in the workplace and demonstrates the urgent need for action. More than a fifth (21%) of UK adults aged 50+ indicated that since turning 50, they had regularly experienced ageist attitudes in the workplace or when applying for roles. While approximately two thirds (64%) agreed they would feel comfortable in reporting ageist behaviour in the workplace, less than half (42%) said they would be confident any complaint would be taken seriously.
As an officially 5 Star Employer in care, diversity and equality matters hugely to us, so our goal has always been to create an open and safe workplace culture, and buck the trend of ageism in the workplace.
An unprecedented labour and skills shortage is one of the biggest challenges facing our economy today – in fact, the latest ONS statistics revealed over one million vacancies in the final quarter of 2022-3. With an ageing population such as ours in the UK, and particularly in Devon, older workers can play a vital role in overcoming this.
It has never been more important for employers to become age-friendly and take advantage of older workers’ skills and experience, and at Home Instead, we are happy to embrace this diversity.
By signing the pledge, we are demonstrating our pledge towards tackling ageism in the workplace and are committing to support this goal in the way we recruit, manage and support older workers. Under the initiative, we will also identify a senior sponsor for age-inclusion within our workforce and ensure that age is specifically named within Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies.
Across the UK, over 100 employers have already signed the pledge, including Virgin Hotels, Osborne Clarke and the Department for Work and Pensions. We are proud to be joining other leading organisations in taking action to help older workers flourish in the workplace, as confirmed by Vanessa McGlade, our Owner/Director, who says:
“Ours is a diverse team with regard to many factors, age included, and with that comes an astonishing variety of talent, life experiences and skills – all of which contribute towards creating an adaptable workforce. Our team members range from 20 to 80 years young. Just as we do with our Clients, we see the person, not the age.”
Dr Carole Easton, Chief Executive at the Centre for Ageing Better, said:
“The pledge has been designed to support businesses to go on a journey at a pace that works for them. By taking manageable and measurable steps, employers will learn over time what steps they need to take to make the biggest difference in their own organisation.”
“The labour market is changing and employers are facing huge challenges with skills and labour shortages and near-record vacancy rates. Workers in their 50s and 60s are key to filling these gaps – now, more than ever, the older workforce is the workforce.
“And yet older workers are continuing to leave the labour market in droves. We want to help businesses understand how they can be attractive employers to older workers and reap the benefits of a multigenerational workforce.”
The Centre for Ageing Better supports the network of Age-friendly Employers like ourselves by providing a full framework of actions to take alongside a range of learning resources and content to help employers make changes within their organisation. Regular newsletters share tips and guidance, while Ageing Better also host webinars where pledged employers can learn and share best practice. Organisations report back to Ageing Better on the progress of their age-friendly actions too, and the Home Instead Exeter & East Devon team are pleased to participate.