The Workers Union has announced that it’s backing a better deal for older workers struggling in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The news came as joint research by The Resolution Foundation and Nuffield Health argued that job support for people aged over 50 must be as well resourced as support for those aged 18-24.
Statistics suggest that working people of 50 plus have been twice as likely to lose their jobs as those in the 25-49 bracket. A Resolution Foundation survey also found that 35 percent of participants in the 60 to 65 age range were out of work by the beginning of 2021 or were furloughed. Some were continuing to work, but on ten percent less than their pre-COVID salaries.
The Resolution Foundation suggests that a major part of addressing the problems experienced by workers in this situation could involve a tax-credit style scheme. This would help those who meet the criteria to manage the drop in wages that often accompanies returning to work in later years.
The Workers Union on a Better Deal for Older Workers
Older workers are the lifeblood of any successful business. They are people with skill, experience, and cool heads in a time of crisis. As such they rank amongst the most valuable resources available to any manager.
Unfortunately, some bosses consider age as a negative marker of competence. They look past the years of dedicated contributions and see an opportunity to draft in replacements – often at a bargain price.
This is short-sighted and something that we should be very keen to eradicate from our working culture.
What we need to see now is a fully-fledged package of support that meets the needs of this often-overlooked sector of our economy. The tax-credit style system is one option, but there must also be more investment in retraining opportunities – for example in digital skills – and work-based learning for the over-50s. There must also be a drive to hire those workers with ‘craftsmanship’ and ‘specialist’ skills to train up younger generations – particularly those set to benefit from the government’s apprenticeship schemes.
In truth, these are but a handful of the ways that older workers bring value to the workplace. So let’s be imaginative, think big and offer them the extended support their contributions deserve.
The Workers Union – Fighting for social justice, fighting for you