Businesses not prepared for aging workforce - study

  • 08/11/2016

Kiwi businesses around the country should be doing more to accommodate older workers, according to a new study.

The latest New Zealand Diversity Survey found more than 70 percent of businesses have no specific strategies to engage with workers older than 55.

Only two percent of the 909 people surveyed said their organisation offered staff older than 55 retirement planning information, and fewer than two percent offered additional training to keep them up to speed.

Diversity Works NZ chief executive Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie says all businesses should be looking at how they can capitalise on the experience and loyalty of older employees.

"This is not just the large organisations, this is the businesses of all sizes; small, medium, large and anywhere throughout the country."

She says the lack of planning means employers are haemorrhaging experienced minds.

"We've got institutional knowledge walking out the door in New Zealand, so we really need to take hold, we need to do something about it."

Government figures predict that by 2020, a quarter of the Kiwi workforce will be aged 55 or older.

Aging is ranked the third most important diversity issue in the survey; behind wellbeing and flexibility.

Only four percent of those surveyed believe their employer would offer flexible working arrangements to keep over-fifty-fives on the job.