Temporary work is a crucial element when building a workplace for all ages
The Government today launched a new paper "Building a society for all ages", a key strategy of which sets out to examine how people can be best supported if they decide to work for longer.
Commenting on the report, Tom Hadley, the REC's Director of External Relations said: “The paper notes that in a 2004 survey, only 10 per cent of 50-69 year olds would want to work full time after they retire. This is a reality our members see everyday. Temporary and interim posts allow workers to share their experience with the next generation without having to commit to long hours or sometimes the line management responsibilities which would go with full time work.
“We find that more people temp either when they are young, entering the jobs market for the first time, or as they plan their retirement. Work on an interim basis provides extra money but also more autonomy to those who want to keep their foot in the door of the jobs market and also want time for themselves."
He continued: "Priorities change through a working life and many older people want to be active grandparents or take longer holidays, for instance. We need a flexible labour market which allows people to keep working on their terms so temporary, interim and contract work has a vital role to play here."
Sarah Gordon, Chair of the REC’s Diversity and Inclusion Forum, said a recent survey was carried out across all age groups by her company, The Sammons Group. Of the respondents citing age as their reason for doing temporary work, 54.5 per cent felt they wouldn't be able to get permanent work, 18.2 per cent said they wanted to supplement their retirement income, and 18.2 per cent said they liked the freedom of temporary work as they were approaching retirement.
Sarah said: “These survey results show that in many cases, older candidates are deselecting themselves believing that nobody will be interested in giving them a permanent job. So it is clear that employers need to do more about getting the message out there that just because a candidate is nearing the retirement age of 65, it does not mean they will be less likely to be selected for permanent positions.
“Whilst the retirement age of 65 remains, temporary work is in many cases the only viable option for talented individuals above this age who are seeking to supplement their retirement income or simply to keep themselves busy, and the Government should recognise this if it is going to give support to older workers.”