AGE discusses employment of older people with French experts & social partners

A pivotal conference organized by the Confédération Française des Retraités on 8 February in Paris, delved into the multifaceted challenges surrounding the employment of older people in France. AGE was invited to join the debate on ageing at work, the role of companies, and the imperative public policies.

The social dimension of ageing in the labour market is a priority

The morning debates at the conference resonated with the ongoing negotiations between social partners in France. The employment of older people is not solely an economic matter but also has an important social dimension that should be at the core of the policies. This acknowledgement is needed to take account of the multifaceted challenges facing older workers in today’s labour market.

In our intervention, we presented a comprehensive overview of the employment situation of older workers in Europe. With a significant proportion of unemployed people aged 55-64 in Europe in 2023 (2/5), our AGE AGE Barometer, published in November 2023, highlights the urgent need to put in place sustainable and quality career paths for older people. Based on our Barometer, we highlighted the best practices observed in 19 Member States aiming to inspire neighbouring Member States and the European Union to support career needs and desires in older age and improve employment rates in Europe.

Inspiring practices in European Member States

Successful strategies from neighbouring Member States underscored the necessity to adopt a life course approach and person-centred approach to better understand the need of older workers and better adapt to the demand. Belgium, through an inspiring collective agreement to maintain or increase the number of older employees in companies, showed a good way of ensuring the inclusion of older workers with an effective management of the ageing workforce.

The imperative need to combat ageism in the labour market was highlighted, urging for an understanding of the diversity of older people’s situation and needs and the adoption of an intersectional approach. In particular, a strong focus on women’s careers in Sweden is highlighted in the Barometer, thanks to the adoption of lifelong measures, enabling women to address some of the specific challenges they face in the labour market in old age.

Need for flexible workplaces

The presentation concluded with a call to adapt workplaces to cater to individuals of all ages. These adaptations involve ensuring health and safety in the workplace, without forgetting mental health, which is essential to address ageing at work. Flexibility in workplaces and working hours also emerged as critical considerations, especially in light of the work-life balance of carers, who are mainly women.

Lastly, we invited the audience to follow the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work’s “Safe and Healthy Work in the Digital Age” campaign, of which AGE is a partner, to ensure that adaptations are aligned both with the needs of older workers and with the digitisation of workplaces.



Policy Officer on Employment and European Parliament Liaison

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