The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has added guidance on improving the health and wellbeing of older workers.
It urges employers to treat their older staff as individuals and recognise that they may have specific needs at different life stages.
The NICE recommendations also call on employers to keep an open mind about older workers learning new tasks and making training options accessible to them.
The guidance has been added to the workplace wellbeing draft guidance which was unveiled this summer.
This provided an evidence-based approach to implementing a successful workplace wellbeing strategy and highlighted senior executives and line managers as key role models and practitioners.
Research from Public Health England research also found the importance of being physically active at work, particularly in largely sedentary jobs.
NICE Deputy Chief Executive and Health and Social Care Director Professor Gillian Leng said: "Changes to the working population and the state pension age will mean that greater numbers of people will be working well into their 60s and 70s.
"It is, therefore, important that the health and wellbeing of all employees, including those over 50, is promoted and protected. The draft guidance is now out for consultation, and I would urge all those with an interest in this area to comment via the NICE website."
The key points raised by the guidance for supporting older workers' health and wellbeing are:
- Employers, managers and HR teams should treat each employee as an individual and avoid making stereotypical assumptions about them. For instance, not assuming that an older employee may find learning new tasks difficult or that they are more dependable.
- As with other employees, offer or support older employees to get training to stay in work should their job role change, if that is what they choose to do.
- Tailor training programmes to meet employees' individual needs, learning style and ability.
NICE noted that this could include providing:
- A training needs analysis
- Work-based, practical on-the-job training
- Mentoring or one-to-one sessions
- Opportunities for reflection
- Addressing the needs of older employees as part of a broad diversity policy that recognises key life stages and life events. (This includes the shifting of caring responsibilities from care of children to care for grandchildren or parents).
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