In a study by a team of researchers from Denmark, the importance of the psycho-social work environment for older workers has been highlighted. The study followed almost 1,900 Danish employees in their decision to leave the labour market early. The most important factors identified were job satisfaction, influence, possibilities for development, positive management relations and job without age discrimination. Work intensity seemed not to have an influence.
AGE: importance of sound occupational health policies, life-long learning
The study confirms AGE’s position calling for the inclusion of psycho-social risks to occupational health and safety policies and inclusive labour markets. Older workers are under increasing pressure to work longer, while employment rates of 55-64 year-olds are still only around 50%. Especially older women find it hard to enter the labour market, to find a new job after unemployment spells or to combine work and care responsibilities in the family.
Age-friendly labour markets imply to take seriously motivational factors that can push people to quit their employment. Ageism and negative stereotypes need to be tackled, but at the same time older workers need to have access to life-long learning, on the job and outside the job, to make sure their skills can keep up with changing labour markets.
Article: Thorsen, S.V., Jensen, P.H., Bjorner, J.B., ‘Psychosocial work environment and retirement age: a prospective study of 1876 senior employees’. In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health Vol. 89(6), 2016. Pp. 891-900. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00420-016-1125-7