Barriers and facilitators to extended working life : a qualitative study

Edge, CE ORCID:, Coffey, M ORCID:, Cook, PA ORCID: and Weinberg, A ORCID: 2022, 'Barriers and facilitators to extended working life : a qualitative study' , in: Women entrepreneurs and employment : past, present and future perspectives , Women's Issues , Nova Science Publishers, New York.

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Aim: To explore employee experiences of nearing or working beyond state pensionable age, and the factors enabling and inhibit them to work for longer. Specifically, the study explored the health, social, workplace and financial barriers and facilitators to working for longer in a predominately female workforce. This chapter uses the socio-ecological model to explore these factors, illuminating the views and experiences of older female workers and their supervisors working within a private sector retail organisation. Method: The study used semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of 26 participants: 11 female employees aged ≥ 60 and 15 supervisors supporting these employees, analysed using framework analysis. Findings: The majority of female older workers (FOWs) and supervisors reported the following facilitators to extending their working lives (EWL): good health; the values of the organisation and social elements of work, which were seen as beneficial for health; good support from supervisors; good team dynamics; positive self-perceptions of ageing; a choice of shift patterns; and financial drivers. Perceived barriers to EWL were poor health; the negative impacts of work on health, for example due to prolonged standing; a perception of a lack of respect and support from management and colleagues, specifically relating to intergenerational barriers; and factors such as caring responsibilities, which impacted the majority of FOWs. Conclusions: Recommendations for practice to facilitate EWL include organisations: considering the gendered context of their workforce and adapting policy accordingly; challenging negative perceptions of ageing, including gendered norms; championing older workers; training managers to adapt to the needs of an ageing workforce; providing adaptations as needed to reflect the functioning changes associated with age, (particularly in respect of physical roles) and flexibility in working patterns and job role; and implementing interventions to facilitate EWL such as health promotion interventions that harness the social benefits of work. Finally, on a public policy level, providing well paid work and ensuring job quality to meet the demands of an ageing workforce should be a precursor to a successful EWL policy.

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Fitzgerald, L
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Publisher: Nova Science Publishers
Series Name: Women's Issues
ISBN: 9781685076238 (paperback); 9781685076450 (ebook)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: CE Edge
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2022 14:54
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 16:48

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