Type of Content: Research

Subtype: Journal Article

Resource Title: Employers’ Adjustment to Longer Working Lives

Publication Title: Innovation in Aging Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2019

Publish Date: February 4, 2019

Abstract

Background and Objectives

The aging of the workforce and the trend toward longer working lives has substantial implications, not only for employees, but also for employers. The aim of this study is to quantitatively investigate the extent to which employers have implemented human resource (HR) practices in adjustment to longer working lives. We distinguish between information practices, health practices, and person-job fit practices.

Research Design and Methods

Data from 1,296 Dutch employers, collected in 2017, are used to study the ways in which employers have adjusted their HR practices. We estimate a structural equation model to identify predictors of implementing adjustment measures.

Results

Employers have largely started to adjust their HR practices to make longer working lives more attainable. Especially larger organizations are highly active in using HR practices to enhance the long-term employment perspectives for their employees. Employers who are concerned about the mental fitness of their workforce in relation to longer working lives are especially likely to invest in information and health adjustment practices. Organizations with a high proportion of older workers are mostly focused on providing information.

Discussion and Implications

The HR practices that are implemented by employers to facilitate longer working lives are different from those traditionally associated with an older workforce, implying a fundamental shift in employers’ focus. Instead of promoting the exit of older workers and accommodating older workers specifically, employers are now moving toward providing information, promoting healthy habits, and improving long-term person–job fit, also targeting early- and mid-career workers.

Employers’ Adjustment to Longer Working Lives