Research: Working well?


This research from the Centre for Ageing Better highlights the challenges faced by employees with long-term health conditions. It warns that more support is needed to help people manage their conditions in the workplace if the state pension is to rise further.

Good quality work can provide – or, at least, support – financial security, physical and mental health, housing and community connections people need to enjoy their later life. But both people aged 50 and over, and people living with long-term conditions and disabilities face barriers to employment.

The pandemic has not only widened the disability employment gap and the age employment gap, but also the gap between those in good and bad employment.

This research, carried out by the Institute for Employment Studies, takes a look at stories of people aged 50 and over living with long-term conditions and disabilities. It makes recommendations for the government and employers, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

Recommendations for employers include:

  • Create a culture that is explicitly anti-ableist and anti-ageist.
  • Actively try to learn from the natural experiment of mass remote working.
  • Invest in line-management training, now – and make sure your line managers are implementing your policies. This should include training on how to talk about health at work and how to understand and implement related policies and adjustments.
  • Take explicit action to support the mental health of your employees.
  • Continue to offer support and protection to staff who are clinically vulnerable to the virus.