Dealing with older workers in Europe: a comparative survey of employers’ attitudes and actions

Hendrik P. van Dalen, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Kène Henkens, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Joop Schippers, Utrecht University

This paper addresses employers’ attitudes and actions regarding the position of older workers. A comparative survey among employers from four European countries – Greece, Spain, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom – is used to examine their expectations with respect to the ageing of the workforce, the productivity of older workers and their recruitment and retention behaviour regarding older workers. The results show that in spite of the perceived challenges ahead (ageing workforce), employers take no substantial measures to retain and recruit older workers or improve their productivity. Only employers in the United Kingdom seem to recognize older workers as a valuable source of labour supply and act accordingly.

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Presented in Session 38: Workforce ageing: consequences and responses