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Barriers to staying in work for older islanders could be addressed through Longer Working Lives proposals

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Friday 10 November 2017

Many people experience barriers to staying in work until, or past, State Pension Age.

These can include mental and physical health issues or feeling 'worn out', balancing care or family responsibilities with work, retirement ages written into contracts of employment, and difficulty finding or getting back into work. The Committee for Employment and Social Security is bringing forward proposals which will help to address these barriers in future.

Deputy Shane Langlois, vice-President of the Committee, said:

"We know from our consultation that some people want to continue working up to or past state pension age and struggle to do so. Others do continue working and value the social contact and chance to keep active, as well as the additional income. Supporting people to work for longer will become increasingly important as our islands populations age and the agreed increase in the State Pension Age starts to be implemented, increasing 2 months per year from 2020. We recognise our older islanders have a lot to contribute.

Some people are concerned that supporting older workers to stay in work will impact job availability for younger people. If anything, it seems that countries that have more older people working have more younger people working as well. We do not believe this is a competition. Our population projections suggest that the working age population will actually decrease in the coming years so we will need to support more people, of all ages, to work to maximise our workforce."

The proposals, which have been submitted for States Debate include:

Deputy Shane Langlois, vice-President of the Committee, said:

"We hope that this work will move us closer to addressing the barriers which older workers are likely to experience, so that they are able to stay in work until State Pension Age or beyond.

The Committee for Employment & Social Security has a number of workstreams underway at the moment including the development of Income Support, the Disability and Inclusion Strategy, and work to review the Long-term Care Insurance Fund. The Longer Working Lives workstreams will need to be prioritised against existing work which means that change may take some time yet. However, this Policy Letter helps to set out a clear direction of travel."

To find out more please visit www.gov.gg/longerworkinglives, email longerworkinglives@gov.gg or call 01481 732546.

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