Age UK calls for flexible working rethink

Age UK has called for a all workers to be given the opportunity to work flexibly unless their company can justify otherwise, reports. The charity has claimed that many older people are currently being forced out of the workplace despite having the skills and experience to do a job well. This could be remedied, however, by flexible working, it claimed. In its new ‘A Means to Many Ends’ report, the charity had measured the availability of flexible working in the UK and the impact it has had on those for whom the service has been made available. Specifically concerning older workers, Age UK said that flexible working could enable them to become more productive, as it would allow for working outside of their caring responsibilities or when they are needed to do other things. This would be beneficial to both parties as it makes workers more content but also offers employees higher productivity levels who have implemented remote business IT services. Age UK also noted that flexible working could prolong the careers of many individuals, allowing them to work remotely if they are unable to get to the office. These benefits, the charity urged, should be made available instantly as opposed to 26 weeks into a role. Speaking of the results, director general of Age UK, Michelle Mitchell, explained: “With their skills and knowledge, older workers are an invaluable asset to the UK economy. “Yet, far too many people aged 50 and over are locked out of the job market because they are unable to work conventional hours, often because they have to care for a relative or have health issues. In these tough economic times when the UK needs to make the most of its resources, it is just common sense for the government and employers to embrace flexible working.”

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