The Government’s Business Champion for older workers, Andy Briggs, is calling on UK employers to publicly commit to employing 12% more older workers by 2022 and to publish their workforce data by age. UK charity Business in the Community, who will publish the data on their website, backs this call to action and has published guidance to support employers to publish this data.

Aviva, Atos, Barclays, The Co-operative Group, Home Instead Senior Care, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), Mercer, and Walgreens Boots Alliance are the first employers to publically pledge their commitment to meeting this target and have already published their age data.

As Business Champion, Andy, together with the Business in the Community’s Age at Work Leadership Team, set a UK target in February for employers to recruit one more million older workers by 2022. To ensure, the UK stays on track to achieving this target, the Business Champion, supported by Business in the Community, is now urging every UK employer to:

  • Commit today to collaborating to meet the one million more target and as a starting point to employ 12% more older workers by 2022, and;
  • Publish the number and percentage of older workers in their workforce by the end of 2017.

Publishing workforce data by age will enable tracking of the UK’s progress towards the target, and this transparency will encourage more employers to adapt to and benefit from an older workforce.

Andy, who is CEO of Aviva UK Life, as well as Government Business Champion for Older Workers and Chair of the Business in the Community Age at Work Leadership Team, said: “The UK is facing a colossal skills gap, and older workers are vital to filling it. Businesses can show leadership here, through committing to real change and actively seeking to recruit more over 50s into their organisations. By being open about the progress they are making, they can also lead the way in demonstrating the benefits of having a diverse team of employees that represents all sections of society.”

“Aviva is proud to be one of the first employers to publicly commit to 12% more older workers by 2022 and to publish workforce data by age. Currently, around 19% of our workforce is over 50 – and we will improve on this over time.  We hope to exceed rather than just meet the 12% target. Having employees with the life experience and maturity, who can fully relate to our customers, is hugely valuable, and the over 50s are essential to this.”

“Transparency around workforce data is good corporate governance and I hope Aviva’s open approach will encourage more employers to join Commit & Publish and help us in achieving this collective goal.”

Rachael Saunders, Age at Work Director at Business in the Community, said: “The UK simply cannot meet its growth and productivity objectives without adapting to retain, recruit and develop people aged over 50. We have an ageing society and it is essential that employers act now to ensure employees can stay in work for longer and to support career changes in later life. We are calling on every UK employer to show their support today by publically committing to 12% more older workers by 2022 and pledging to publish their workforce data by age by the end of this calendar year.”

An ageing society and workforce:

  • The average age in the UK is now 40, 10 years older that it was in 1974.
  • By 2020, one in three of the working age population will be over 50 and by 2030 half of all adults in the UK will be over 50.
  • By 2022, 14.5 million more jobs will be created but only 7 million younger workers will enter the workforce – leaving 7.5 million roles unfilled.
  • Age bias means the UK employment rate drops to 64% at aged 60, from 83% at aged 50.

Business in the Community has produced a guide to support all employers to Commit & Publish their workforce data by age, including for their workers over the age of 50. The guidance and the form where employers can publish their data which was made public online on Tuesday 23rd May at http://age.bitc.org.uk/BusinessChampion/Commitandpublish/workforcedata

The Government appointed Andy Briggs, CEO of Aviva UK Life, as its Business Champion for Older Workers alongside the Business in the Community Age at Work Leadership Team, of which he is Chair. The Business Champion is tasked with supporting businesses to retain, retrain and recruit older workers. In February 2017, the Business Champion launched a target of one million more older workers by 2022. To reach this, every UK business will need to, on average, increase the number of older people they employ by 12%.