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The potential impact of ageism within organisations

Critically assess & evaluate the Programme ‘Bus pass Workaholics’ and prepare a management briefing report providing recommendations in reviewing the policy on retirement & the potential impact of ageism within organisations. The Employment Equality (Age) regulations 2006 gave hope to many older employees and helped to protect them in the work place. Although it means employers have had to change certain aspects of how they work, it’s been for the better and allowed employees more protection against discrimination.

The changes have been put in for employees to help from discrimination and to help employees work into retirement age. Many older employees haven’t got a pension to live off when they get to retirement, through either not setting one up, not contributing enough or their pension scheme collapsing, there have been several manufacturing and textiles firms that have had pension schemes collapse and this has meant employees being forced to carry on working.

People are finding that their state pension isn’t suffice to live on and that they need extra income. Women may have suffered with their state pensions due to National Insurance contributions, some women took years off work to them having kids or being a housewife, when its come to retirement

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they’ve found out their state pension is reduced, although they can claim back 6years in some cases it still isn’t enough. In both circumstances it has forced them to either go back to work or continue with their employment at the time.

Increased life expectancy has meant more people over 50 years of age are now working than ever before, around 20 million in the UK (Acas, 2006) in the UK; this is set to continue over the next 20 years. With life expectancies higher, the money some have put away isn’t enough, many don’t have any savings and when thy get to retirement age they’re being forced to carry on working. More pensioners have other commitments now than ever before, the amount of pensioners with mortgages in retirement age is now 1. 76 million (Scottish Widows, 2006), that’s one in six.

The financial burden a mortgage can have is great at any age, but in retirement it can cause huge strain. Several financial providers are giving pensioners mortgages at unlimited ages encouraging them to borrow further. As the life expectancy goes up more pensioners are looking to work longer because they want to or just because they can. As the health of pensioners is improving they feel they can still achieve what they want in the workplace. It could also mean them being able to carry on with their lifestyle by doing this.

Experience – Older employees are going to have the experience of working in some cases up to 50 years, the experience & knowledge that they could bring maybe vital in going forward. From the Sylvester case its evident the company has benefited from his past knowledge and work experiences, this together with the new ideas generated with the younger employees seems to have a balance. Commitment – Generally the commitment from older employees can be better than younger staff, they appreciate the position they are given and can possess a work ethic that is different from younger staff.

This commitment can be seen and underlined in the Bus Pass documentary with the Employees of the Golfing range getting up at the small hours of the morning and at times doing there jobs in severe conditions. Flexibility – The flexibility that age group can bring to an organisation may help to not only let the employee wind down without retiring all together, but it also gives firms the opportunity to use the employees strengths in having them as a mentor, helping younger employees develop and play a part in decision making.

McDonalds have become one of the more prominent employers for staff over 65,employing over 500 hundred staff over 65, this has been lead with the advertising campaigns for recruiting, their slogan of ‘we have the shift patterns to suit the lifestyles of all our crew’ (HR International Digset,2007) shows there commitment to being flexible for older employees. Drawbacks Resentment/Morale – Having to work into retirement without choice could have an impact psychologically on an employee.

They may start to fell resentment towards the company for still having to work. This resentment could have an effect on the other staff & the negativity could mean morale is lowered. Friction may develop from this with younger staff then beginning to resent the older staff and potentially lead to discrimination. No Natural Gaps – Morale could also be affected by no natural gaps occurring within an organisation, it would mean younger staff feeling frustrated not getting any opportunities.

This could lead to them leaving or causing discrimination again. Cost – This is always important & additional costs could be involved in having employees in roles past normal retirement age. Training may be needed if kept on; if a role change is needed then additional training may be required. Other costs may involve making sure that the employee’s health is ok with regular check ups & also the additional costs in training all staff on the topic of discrimination.

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