European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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30 October 2012, ITUH, Bd du Roi Albert II, 5; 1210 Brussels, 1st floor, room B, 12h30-14h30

ETUI Monthly Forum: Diversity and inequality: working conditions according to age and occupation in Europe

Speaker: Gérard Valenduc, Research Director at Fondation Travail-Université (FTU) and invited professor at the universities of Louvain-la-Neuve and Namur

Józef Niemiec, Deputy General Secretary ETUC (TBC)
Laurent Vogel, Director of the Working Conditions, Health and Safety Department of the ETUI

Moderator: Philippe Pochet, General Director ETUI

A secondary analysis of the fifth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS 2010) provides insights into quality of work and employment among older workers, and into the sustainability of current jobs within 18 occupational groups. The wide range of situations and challenges faced by workers in different occupations urges extreme caution with regard to policies that would indiscriminately extend working life for all older workers. This high degree of diversity must be factored into arrangements made to deliver European policy goals of increasing employment rates among older workers and raising actual retirement ages. Employers, moreover, are faced with the responsibility for improving employees’ working and employment conditions during the later years of their working lives, a challenge that calls for innovative human resources management practices. The roots of the problems faced by workers aged 50 and over – be they ill health, work organisation or job-related expectations – often have their origins further back, during the years before these workers became “older”.

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