Retirement is a new taboo in the workplace suggests research from Economic and Social Research Council
28 August 2018
Research shows little evidence that organisations have begun to work through the implications of an ageing workforce – but employers are helping nobody with silence on retirement.
Age discrimination legislation made direct or indirect discrimination on the basis of age illegal in 2006. In 2011, it also became illegal to force someone to retire at a particular age. "These changes firmly place the onus on employers to extend working lives by recruiting and retaining older workers," says Professor Vickerstaff.
However, in-depth case studies exploring organisational practice with regard to older workers find little evidence that organisations have begun to work through the implications of an ageing workforce. Rather, the misguided idea that no one should mention retirement is taking hold."
This is highly dysfunctional for everybody, as it creates uncertainty on both sides," she explains. Line managers cannot plan for succession because they don't know when people will go, and employees have little support in making decisions about when to retire or how to ease into retirement.