Employers better at facilitating working longer

Between 2009 and 2017, employers started to become more concerned about the rising costs and potentially falling productivity of older employees. At the same time, they have also become much more active in taking measures to support older employees in working longer, such as flexible working hours and ergonomic measures. There is a growing sense of urgency to facilitate a longer work life. Employers also find working to a higher age generally less problematic than ten years ago.

This is apparent from a Netspar analysis by researchers from the Dutch Demographic Institute (NIDI), into changes in employers’ attitudes and behavior with regard to the aging labor market between 2009 and 2017. During this period, the Netherlands went through a transition from a country where early retirement was common, to a country with a relatively high employment rate of older workers and a rising retirement age. The results show that employers are very concerned about the rising costs and potentially falling productivity of older employees. There is also a growing sense of urgency among employers to invest in older employees to facilitate working longer. Over half of the employers, for example, offers flexible working hours and takes measures to ensure ergonomic working. Nevertheless, there is still a desire for policies that make it possible for employees in the heavy professions to have a lower retirement age, or to make part-time retirement more accessible, in order to make the transition to a longer career smoother.

Learn more? Read the paper ‘Dutch Employers’ Responses to an Aging Workforce: Evidence from Surveys, 2009-2017by Jaap Oude Mulders, Kène Henkens en Hendrik van Dalen (NIDI)

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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