Retired Britons want to keep working

Aug 24 2004 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Half of Britons would consider returning to work after their official retirement, with more wanting to avoid boredom than being forced to do so for financial reasons.

New research from leisure company Whitbread reveals that as many as 23.5 million Britons – half the current adult population - would return to full or part time work, suggesting that employers could face increasing demands for flexible working arrangements from older people as they move back into the workplace.

The research found that three-quarters said that work was a way to keep themselves mentally stimulated, with almost six out of ten (57 per cent) saying that they would do so for the money.

But one in five admitted that they wanted to keep working in order to get away from their partner.

Whitbread said it had seen an increase in retirees and over 50s making the decision to return to work. In addition industry figures also show that over the last seven years the employment rate for older people has risen faster than that of the working age population as a whole.

The UK’s women lead the charge back to work with 54 per cent saying they would consider returning, while 47 per cent of men would consider a return if the right job suited them. People in the West Midlands appeared to be the most keen to return to work with 60 per cent compared to those asked in East Anglia where only 38 per cent stated they would do so.

Angie Risley, director of human resources at Whitbread, said: “Recent reports have shown that the number of people living to 80 will double by 2050, and in light of this many of these individuals will want to continue to work after retirement age for a variety of reasons. Employers need to prepare for this.”

“We have always made a point of welcoming older staff. Not only do they bring a degree of confidence, reliability, experience and maturity to the workplace but they also have great skills when dealing with customers.”

“Our research shows a significant amount of people want to return to work for many different reasons which is great news for employers facing a skills shortage. But it is important that if people are looking for a change of career at a later point in life they consider a workplace that is flexible and meets their needs.”