Purpose – This paper aims to examine whether employers' opinions and expectations regarding workers' retirement age are in line with the ideas of the EU‐Member States' governments to increase the participation of older workers and to postpone the transition from paid work into retirement at the end of the labour market career. Design/methodology/approach – A comparative survey was used among employers from five European countries: Greece, Hungary, Spain, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Findings – The authors found that most employers are reluctant in supporting later retirement. Part of this reluctance is the result of the perception that an ageing work force is a burden rather than a boom to organizations. Originality/value – This study shows that there still is a discrepancy between the aims formulated at the level of the European Union and member state countries with respect to stimulating the labour force participation of older workers and the attitudes of individual employers. In particular, the fact that employers perceive alternative solutions to the challenges of an ageing and shrinking workforce, other than delaying retirement, suggests that most employers will not be a major driving force for extending the working life.
International Journal of Manpower – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 15, 2010
Keywords: Employers; Older workers; Retirement; Direct labour costs; Europe