Recent statistics have shown that there has been a huge rise in the number of people aged over 50 becoming employed. The fastest rate of increase is with those people aged 65 (older women in particular) with almost one million people in that age bracket in the working population. The rise in “oldies” employment accounts for 20% of the increase. However the growth in employment of the older worker is not the detriment of younger workers. Currently 30 % of older workers work in managerial and professional jobs with only 14 % in sales, care and leisure jobs; this is in complete contrast to younger people where 34% work in that sector and only 9% in managerial and professional jobs. Older people provide effective role models to the young who can gain from their valuable knowledge.
There may be several reasons why older people are working longer. In some cases employers want to retain their valuable skills and experience sometimes offering flexible working patterns. For some older workers their pension may be inadequate, they fear the rising cost of living or they feel fit and healthy and willing to remain the workplace. There is also a growing group of self-employed who want to remain connected to the business world. Being employed means older workers have better standards of living which they would lose if they gave up employment.
In 2011 the default retirement age was abolished, therefore, people can work longer and not be compulsorily retired. An employer can only force someone to retire with objective justification.