Earlier this week, the boss of retail giant John Lewis said that over-50s leaving the workforce amid the ‘Great Resignation’ had shrunk the UK labour market and driven up inflation.
The comments from Dame Sharon White were made during a recent interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, where she said that these early retirees could be enticed back into the workplace with flexible working arrangements, to help plug the talent gaps that employers are facing.
‘Untapped talent pool’
This recent interview has shone a light on the benefits that older workers can bring to the table. Yvonne Smyth, Group Head of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Hays, said: “Organisations are definitely more aware of older workers being an untapped and potentially overlooked talent pool. This has been brought into sharp focus since the pandemic as the ONS reported 77% of adults aged 50 to 59 said they left their job sooner than expected during the pandemic. The Insight Report by the ONS also revealed four in ten of the 50 and over workforce who left during the pandemic are now showing a willingness to return to work.”