Guest blog: Relaunch of older people and employment inquiry

Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee

This guest blog was contributed by Maria Miller MP, Chair of Women and Equalities Committee. 

Older people make up a crucial part of the UK’s workforce- last year nearly 10 million workers were aged over 50- yet the very real challenges facing them in the workplace rarely make the headlines.

That’s why the House of Commons Women and Equalities committee which I chair is relaunching the older people and employment Inquiry which started just before the General Election. We’re keen to hear from individuals, groups and charities about the challenges that face older people when they’re at work and the obstacles to getting back into work.

A large part of our role as a committee is to scrutinise the Government’s current policies in this area. At the 2017 Spring Budget the Government pledged money to help older people to upskill or get back into the workplace after long career breaks. So as a key part of our inquiry, the committee want to monitor the progress of these schemes to make sure the money is being used effectively.

Scrutinising the effectiveness of policies to tackle age discrimination at work is an important priority for the committee in this new Parliament but we need to gather evidence, from experts and individual workers, to help inform our investigation. That’s where you can help. By sharing your experiences on these issues, you can contribute directly to our committee and help us influence the Government to make much needed progress.

We’re looking to gather written evidence from the public and organisations around the following issues:

  • What further steps should the Government consider in order to reduce barriers to later-life working?
  • What further steps need to be taken to reduce age discrimination in recruitment, and what evidence is there that an employer-led approach will be effective?
  • How successful are the Government’s policies on re-training and re-entry likely to be in helping people stay in work or find new employment?
  • How should Government and employers respond to and improve age diversity in the workforce?
  • Is the Government’s approach addressing the different needs of women, carers, people with long-term health conditions and disabilities and BME groups among the older workforce?

We’re considering additional questions to the ones listed above, and you can find the full list here. If you still think we’re missing an important aspect of the issue, please let us know when you get in touch.

This is the link if you’d like to contribute to our evidence gathering which we’re doing over the next 6 weeks. The deadline for submissions is 3 November 2017.

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