UK government looks to lure early retirees back to work, reports say | Economic policy | Daily News Byte

UK government looks to lure early retirees back to work, reports say |  Economic policy

 | Daily News Byte


According to reports, the government is mulling a plan to bring middle-aged retirees back to work to boost the economy.

The Times reported that older people who have left work could be offered what it describes as a “midlife MOT” to lure them back into employment.

The MoT will assess funding and opportunities for different types of work, the paper says.

The scheme is part of a wider agenda by Rishi Sunak to tackle some of the fundamental problems facing the UK and follows the findings of a recent House of Lords committee that the Covid pandemic has led to a wave of early retirements for professionals aged over 50. A major labor shortage.

It is believed that many people decide to retire early based on assumptions made before a life crisis.

The report, by the Economic Affairs Committee, examined the rise in economic inactivity – the number of people not in work or looking for work – and rising vacancies from 2020.

According to government estimates, nearly 630,000 people have left the workforce since 2019, with employment figures still not back to where they were before the pandemic began in early 2020.

The report also notes that retirements, rising sickness, changes in migration and the UK’s aging population have all contributed to the current tightness in the labor market.

Figures from October showed that nearly 2.5 million people were not looking for work due to long-term illness, increasing the labor shortage.

It is hoped that the MoT will also help identify opportunities for part-time or flexible working, mentoring and skills training.

The measures are part of a broader government initiative, to be launched in the new year, that aims to reduce the nearly 9 million working-age adults who are economically inactive.

Government sources said the plan was a priority for Sunak and the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, given that the economy was being dragged down by low employment rates and high levels of long-term sickness, which accounted for 28%. The labor market in June to August compared to 15% at the start of the pandemic.

Last month, Hunt asked Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride to assess the barriers and incentives to work. The research found that 60% of people who left their jobs since the pandemic began would consider returning.

Stride is keen to test the feasibility of a government “pairing” scheme in which older workers provide support and advice to small and medium-sized businesses. It also wants to explore voluntary schemes for retirees who have no financial need to work but may be willing to give up some time for worthy causes.

The head of John Lewis, Dame Sharon White, said in August that the 1 million mostly over-50s who quit their jobs during the pandemic should be encouraged back into work to meet inflation and wage-rising labor shortages.

“We now have 1 million fewer people working,” said White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership. “Some consider it a ‘great resignation.’ I think of it as a ‘life reassessment’ because these are mainly people in their 50s.

The Times quoted a government source as saying that if older workers could be persuaded to return to work, even part-time, it could have a significant impact and help lift the UK out of recession.

Sunak will also consider further measures to reduce NHS waiting times, investigate education changes and focus on immigration.


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