Employers’ Adjustment to Longer Working Lives

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Background and Objectives
The aging of the workforce and the trend toward longer working lives has substantial implications, not only for employees, but also for employers. The aim of this study is to quantitatively investigate the extent to which employers have implemented human resource (HR) practices in adjustment to longer working lives. We distinguish between information practices, health practices, and person–job fit practices.
Research Design and Methods
Data from 1,296 Dutch employers, collected in 2017, are used to study the ways in which employers have adjusted their HR practices. We estimate a structural equation model to identify predictors of implementing adjustment measures.
Employers have largely started to adjust their HR practices to make longer working lives more attainable. Especially larger organizations are highly active in using HR practices to enhance the long-term employment perspectives for their employees. Employers who are concerned about the mental fitness of their workforce in relation to longer working lives are especially likely to invest in information and health adjustment practices. Organizations with a high proportion of older workers are mostly focused on providing information.
Discussion and Implications
The HR practices that are implemented by employers to facilitate longer working lives are different from those traditionally associated with an older workforce, implying a fundamental shift in employers’ focus. Instead of promoting the exit of older workers and accommodating older workers specifically, employers are now moving toward providing information, promoting healthy habits, and improving long-term person–job fit, also targeting early- and mid-career workers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInnovation in Aging
Issue number1
Early online dateJan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


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