The Guardian: Axing older workers won’t save young people from the Covid dole queue

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/aug/12/axing-older-workers-wont-save-young-people-from-the-covid-dole-queue

Chris Walsh’s Comment:
Well said Dorothy,
We at www.wiseage.org.uk have been fighting this ageism for over 20 years and yet the same fake news keeps re-appearing. It seems simple – force the old to retire and give the jobs to the young. Except it is just not true. We researched the impact of culling older workers after the last 2008 crisis and in fact those companies that sacked older workers ( and that included 64% of all local authority redundancies between 2008 – 2011) did not replace them with younger ones.
Across the EU it was shown that those companies that retained and retrained their older workers in fact subsequently employed more younger workers.  
The reality is that those companies that practice age diversity in employment increase their profitability, productivity and improve job satisfaction. Among many examples such as VW, BMW, Morgan Stanley, B &Q the stand out company is McDonalds in the UK. They asked a third of their franchises to employ over 50s and then after one year their research showed increased productivity profitability and job retention not just compared to the previous year but also compared to those franchises that did not.
There is , like all generations in the UK  great differences in the situation of older working age people , so that the majority of pensioners have incomes below the minimum rate for taxation while over 1 million single pensioner women are on or below the poverty line  and this explains in part why there are over 1.2 million pensioners still working , even if part time after their state pension age.
However at the same time  the silver economy ( both in terms of disposable income, wealth and earnings ) has grown more than any other sector and will now be one of the main motors for restarting the economy. Older consumers prefer the option of being dealt with by a person of a similar age  and companies who wish to benefit from the ‘grey pound’ need to  make sure they have older workers among their staff. But the key here is diversity – if you have a diverse set of consumers you need age diverse staff and when you combine  wisdom, experience , work culture and innovation and awareness of new media and technology you have a winning combination.

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