There was a definite theme running through the employment proposals announced in the Spring 2023 Budget: ‘get back to work’! This was approached from various angles but one of the key announcements was the proposed introduction of ‘returnerships’ (later life accelerated apprenticeships) for those over 50 returning to the workplace following a break.
The impact of this on employers is largely indirect and hopefully positive. A larger prospective workforce means a larger and more diverse pool of potential candidates for roles. As a society we are living longer and UK productivity relies on using talents of all ages and re-engaging and potentially re-training those who may have already had a ‘first career’. Personnel Today reports that the over 50s are the fastest growing demographic in the UK – numbering 27.9 million people by 2030.
There are factors that will need to be considered. For example, what rate of pay will those on ‘returnerships’ be entitled to? Will they be treated in the same way as other apprentices? Employers will also need to consider specific needs and priorities of those returning to work over the age of 50. They might favour flexible working or job-sharing so you may face an increase in flexible working applications. There could also be an increased need for occupational health support if those returning have age-related health issues. An employer’s obligation not to discriminate on grounds of age, sex or disability will apply in the context of returnerships just as it does to other areas of employment.
Find out how we can help. Our partner, Jon Dunkley, heads the Wollens specialist Employment Department. Contact him today for an informal chat, without obligation on 01271 342268 or via email at [email protected].